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Pequot Lakes is offering three sites for a Region 5 Children's Museum to be built. The Region 5 board of directors is seeking a site along the Highways 210/371 corridor from Brainerd to Pequot Lakes for a permanent location for a hands-on children's museum. The board seeks proposals by May 3. The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, April 2, gave consensus to proceed with a proposal from the city offering the following three potential sites:
Longtime Pequot Lakes City Council member Jerry Akerson, re-elected in November, hasn't been sworn in or attended a council meeting yet this year for personal reasons. A three-member council took up the matter at its meeting Tuesday, April 2. City Administrator Nancy Malecha said Akerson hopes to be back for the June council meeting. Reached by phone, Akerson confirmed that hope.
Nisswa's draft comprehensive plan update is available to the public for review and comment through April 22. The draft plan is on the city website at www.cityofnisswa.com . The city council agreed Wednesday, March 20, to release the draft plan for a 30-day public comment and seeks community input to guide future planning and development efforts in the city. The planning commission will review the comments in May, and the city council could adopt the plan at its May 15 meeting.
Though two bids for street improvements came in higher than engineering estimates, the Lake Shore City Council on Monday, March 25, awarded the low bid of $249,357 to Anderson Brothers Construction Co. of Brainerd. The engineering estimate for construction costs was $208,777. City engineer Dave Reese, of Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm, cited increased transportation and material costs for the higher than anticipated costs. He said all across the board prices are up from what estimates were based on.
It isn't known whether Nisswa sewer fees will increase or by how much, nor is it known whether the city will expand its wastewater treatment facilities. What is known is that the city is at 90 percent of state permitted wastewater flows so must take some kind of action. So, the city council on Wednesday, March 20, unanimously voted to allow the process to expand the sewer system to begin. That means a facilities plan will be sent to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for review, a financial package will be created and all details will be clarified.
A bad day at work more than a dozen years ago prompted Holly Holm to leave her hometown for the Brainerd lakes area, and now she begins the next chapter in her life as president of the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce. "I just felt the need to try something new with my life," Holm said of the move in 2006 from New Ulm to the lakes area. "I had a really bad day at work. I was sitting outside on the steps and my husband came home and said, 'What's wrong,'" Holm said. "I said, 'I think we should move.'"
The Pequot Lakes Park Commission will take the lead to revamp a Trailside Park project, the city council decided at its meeting Tuesday, March 5. The council directed the park commission to redesign the project plan, focusing on a splash pad and state flag display because city has donations for those amenities. Council member Jerry Akerson was absent from the meeting.
A traffic study of five Pequot Lakes intersections will be done in May to determine vehicle and pedestrian patterns now that the four-lane Highway 371 has been open for nearly a year and a half. The Pequot Lakes City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday, March 5, to have Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm conduct the traffic study for no more than $20,000. Council member Mimi Swanson casting the opposing vote. Council member Jerry Akerson was not in attendance.
Nisswa's sewer system is nearing capacity again, so the city council will hold a public hearing at its next monthly meeting - 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 - for the public to provide input on possible solutions. A map will be available for people to see where sewer service is available in the city.
Nisswa and Lake Shore continue to work together to complete their combined 4.4-mile portion of the Gull Lake Trail that will one day connect four communities around the lake - East Gull Lake, Fairview Township, Lake Shore and Nisswa. The paved, multi-use trail will total 21 miles.