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Nisswa City Council to meet April 11 to consider public restroom/chamber building bids

The Nisswa City Council will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, to discuss bids that will be opened that morning for the proposed downtown public restroom/chamber building.

Included in the bid specifications will be that construction would start as soon as possible, if the council decides to proceed with the project.

Also before deciding whether to proceed with the building, the city would secure the lease agreement with the chamber for its portion of the building.

The council is seeking bids to determine firmer costs for such a building before deciding whether to proceed. The building would replace the current public restrooms and former chamber building on Main Street.

City engineer Don Anderson of Widseth Smith Nolting said the DNR is concerned because the building is so close to the Paul Bunyan Trail, and construction would include demolition of the current building and taking an existing basement out. The building is just six feet from the trail.

Anderson said the trail would possibly need to be closed for just a few days.

City planner Loren Wickham said the DNR has indicated it would cooperate with any possible temporary rerouting of the trail.

In other business March 18:

• Ann Beaver presented the city with a Crow Wing Environment Protection Advised (CWEPA) Fund grant award for $1,500 to replant trees along the Highway 371 corridor that the Minnesota Department of Transportation removed for the highway expansion project. The city’s grant application met one of three purposes in awarding a CWEPA Fund grant — that of supporting a site specific project that will protect or restore natural resources.

• The council approved a proposal from SEH (Short Elliott Hendrickson) not to exceed $44,800 for construction administration services for construction of the bicycle/pedestrian access site that will be built this summer as part of the Highway 371 project. That amount is less than the $53,000 estimated last summer for these services.

• The council learned the county has begun the formal process with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to establish the new segment of County Road 18. Old County Road 18 segments will be turned back to the city when the new stoplight is installed and operating.

• The council agreed to resolution of support for a four-lane expansion of Highway 371 to Cass Lake, as requested by the Paul Bunyan Expressway Coalition.