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County highway engineer talks about road issues

The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 8, heard from Tim Bray, Crow Wing County highway engineer, regarding pertinent road issues.

Bray asked the city to start looking at turnbacks of roads to the city when the expanded Highway 371 is built in 2018.

Council member Scott Pederson asked about maintenance of County Road 17 regarding snow and ice, saying there have been vehicles in ditches at the S curve.

Council member Tyler Gardner asked if the county prioritizes which roads are plowed first, saying County Road 16 can be dangerous.

Bray said the county does prioritize roads, plowing the most traveled roads first.

In other business Jan. 8, the council:

• Heard from Taylor Stevenson, newly hired executive director of the Lakes Area Restorative Justice Program, which has its office at Pequot Lakes City Hall. The council requested yearly updates on the program.

LARJP provides a forum for juvenile wrongdoers and their families, those victimized by the harm, their supporters and the community to meet in a safe and respectful environment to discuss the incident and decide on some manner of reparations for those harmed.

Stevenson said LARJP plans to work with schools regarding truancy and bullying issues.

• Approved the purchase of a trailer mounted diesel generator capable of powering the water plant and sewer lift stations in case of a power outage for $26,700 plus tax from Generator Power Systems. This replaced a decades old generator.

• Approved the purchase of a rotary cutter from John Deere at $6,498. The cutter will be used in most ditch cutting areas and in the newly acquired Mayo Lake Park for trail construction.

• Approved the city’s Master Park Plan, developed by the Park Commission.

Council member Jerry Akerson was opposed because of inclusion of a possible splash park, saying Pequot Lakes wasn’t large enough for such a park.

• Accepted Lydia Loven’s resignation from the Library Board and appointed David Anderson and John Longnecker for three-year terms to that board to expire Dec. 31, 2015.

• Appointed Cheri Seils, Mark Hallan and Jim Oraskovich to the Planning Commission.

Akerson said Hallan had served previously and he preferred to appoint Seils, Oraskovich and Steven Allen to keep diversity.

Mayor Nancy Adams said Hallan brings an engineering background and had been off of the commission for a year. Council member Scott Pederson agreed, saying he had served on the commission with Hallan and his input was valuable.

Akerson opposed the appointments.

• Reappointed Mark Jurchen to the Economic Development Commission through Dec. 31, 2015.

• Appointed Cathy Malecha and Craig Nagel to three-year terms on the Park Commission through Dec. 31, 2015, and accepted Patti Bonicatto’s resignation from that commission. Pete Clement had previously resigned from that commission.

• Appointed Peggy Packard to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority through Dec. 31, 2017.

• Agreed to hold a special meeting with department heads in attendance at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, to discuss the future of the city.