Nisswa sees $25.4 million in development

Looking to the future, city planner predicts residential growth will slow and commercial growth will increase.

Brittney Cotner, Nisswa city planning and zoning administrator. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal file photo (2019)

The Nisswa City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 16, heard a presentation from Brittney Cotner, city planner, on the past year’s activities.

Cotner noted permits totaling $25.4 million in development and for 47 new homes in the past year. She was excited to announce the city reached the Step 4 designation in the GreenSteps Cities program and is now working to reach Step 5.

GreenStep Cities is a voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities meet environmental sustainability goals.

Looking to the future, Cotner predicted residential growth will slow and commercial growth will increase.

Council members Ross Krautkremer and Mark Froehle were absent Nov. 16.


Public safety

The council approved a resolution for the Nisswa Police Department to apply for a $10,000 grant offered by Sourcewell to help pay for costs associated with the police K9 program.

Council members authorized $22,665 for rigging and equipment for a new police squad car.

The department received donations of $1,189 to buy public safety lights and equipment from the Auto Club Group and $500 from Richard Carlson for the K9 purchase and expenses.

In October, police had 212 calls for service and 27 agency assists, and issued 17 traffic citations and 137 traffic warnings.

The council also approved the fire department’s request to buy a Ford F-150 for an estimated $37,176 as a new command vehicle. The department has the funds through fundraising.

Matthew Hall was hired as a volunteer firefighter.

In other business Nov. 16, the council:


  • Heard an appeal from the Nisswa Garden Club of community center fees, which are to be charged starting in 2022. The club wasn’t charged in the past and asked not to be charged or to have reduced charges as a nonprofit and because of the work it does to beautify Nisswa.

The club estimated fees to be $275 per meeting, and anticipated needing to meet at the community center three times in 2022.
Fire Chief Shawn Bailey offered the fire hall to the garden club as a meeting spot, only asking that club members clean up after their meetings.

  • Learned City Administrator Jenny Max continues working with Widseth engineering firm and Crow Wing County to move forward with the roundabout project on County Road 77 at the Grand View Lodge entrance. An anticipated kickoff meeting may be held in December.

  • Learned Max is also working with Nisswa Elementary School on a Nisswa Mayor for a Day essay contest for fourth-graders. The essays will be sent to the League of Minnesota Cities, which awards prizes for essays, and to council members.

  • Learned preliminary design of the Gull Lake Trail and work to get easements continues.

  • Accepted the resignation of Terry Hansen from the parks and recreation department effective Dec. 3 and to post to hire a park maintenance technician with an updated job description. Hansen worked for the city for 20 years.

  • Certified unpaid sewer charges to the property owners’ tax rolls.

  • Appointed Jesse Zahn and John Taylor to the planning commission.

  • Approved city policies to establish a city-wide capital improvement plan, to establish the schedule for completing a compensation study for all city positions, and to establish the schedule for reviewing city ordinances and city policies.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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