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Nisswa over budget for snow removal

An abundance of snow this season is hitting Nisswa’s pocketbook.

Tom Blomer, Nisswa public works director, told the city council Wednesday, March 18, that his department will be over budget for labor and fuel because of all the snow cleanup.

The department has used three or four more barrels of fuel, or $5,000 to $6,000 more, this year compared to last year.

“Potholes will be a big problem this year,” Blomer said. “Bear with us; we’ll do what we can.”

Some of the worst potholes are on Highway 371, which is the state’s responsibility, especially in the northbound turn lane at the stoplight in Nisswa. Blomer said the Minnesota Department of Transportation did fill in those potholes late last week.

“We’re filling them when and where we can,” Blomer said, noting the city just ordered a large dump truck delivery of five times the normal amount of pothole fill. Crews will fill potholes on Main Street when they can.

Other bad spots are the frontage road at the Northland Center, which will be repaved this summer, and Lower Cullen Road near the American Legion, which will be filled when possible. Patchwork will be done this summer.

Regarding sand and salt supplies, Blomer said, “We won’t run out but we’ve used a lot.”

Blomer also told the council that the Crow Wing County 10-year solid waste plan doesn’t include any increase in funding for recycling. The city added $9,000 to the 2013 budget for recycling services, to have bins picked up more often because they are frequently full.

City clerk Laurie Hemish said the city should ask whether the county would consider raising its annual solid waste assessment fee, which is $15 per county parcel, to get more funds to allocate to recycling. That would help take some burden off Nisswa taxpayers who are paying for recycling services that residents of Lake Edward Township, Unorganized Territory, Lake Shore and Pequot Lakes use as well when they take their recyclables to the bins in Nisswa.

Public safety

In February, police had 163 calls for service. Activity included 74 traffic warnings, 20 traffic citations, 15 agency assists, six medicals, five alarms and three criminal citations.

Fire chief Richard Geike reported that firefighters taking over first responder duties and responding to medicals is going well. The first responders received $638 from the Schroeder milk promotion at Schaefer’s Foods.

In other business March 18, the council was reminded that the board of review to hear concerns about property market values will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 23.

Council members Lenny Hodgson and Jan Pierce were absent March 18.