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After year of no action, council plans to vote on comprehensive plan

The Pequot Lakes City Council plans to vote on adoption of the city’s comprehensive plan at its Feb. 5 meeting at city hall.

The council agreed to provide questions about the plan in writing to staff before Jan. 22, and staff will respond in writing before Jan. 29 so questions and answers can be presented in the February council packet.

Work on a new comprehensive plan began about three years ago. However, the council rejected the plan in December 2011 after tabling action on it in June 2011.

Both those actions came on 3-2 votes with current council member Jerry Akerson and former council member Tom Ryan opposed both times.

A four-fifths majority vote is needed to adopt the new plan.

The planning commission contends it answered Akerson’s and Ryan’s concerns. There’s been no action on the plan at the city council level for more than a year.

The city adopted the current comprehensive plan in 2004, when Pequot Lakes was merging with Sibley Township and establishing how that combined entity would operate and how it would react to issues of growth regarding shoreland concerns and environmental protection.

The new plan addresses the need for ongoing infrastructure maintenance with a tax base that is inadequate to sustain all the systems that need to be maintained.

The new plan recognizes three major components for more prosperous growth: reduce the long-term tax burden; streamline the regulatory process; and grow the local market for goods and services.