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Council accepts Hodgson's resignation

At a council meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 21, the Nisswa City Council accepted the resignation of former council member Lenny Hodgson and declared a vacancy on the council.

Mayor Brian Lehman suggested appointing Don Jacobson, who ran for office in 2012 but didn’t receive enough votes to win a seat.

Council member Tina Foster suggested that in the interest of transparency, the council should accept applications for the seat.

“I think considering the current events it would be wiser to put out a call to see who would be interested in that position,” Foster said, referring to the events involving police chief Craig Taylor.

The council agreed by consensus to accept the applications, and Lehman encouraged Jacobson to apply.

The council decided applications are due approximately Sept. 15. While all members of the council will see all applications, a committee of council members Jan Pierce and Foster will review and interview candidates and present a recommendation at the Oct. 16 council meeting.

Public Safety

Sergeant Tim Holmes, who acted as police chief while Craig Taylor was suspended, had no report Aug. 21 due to the nature of the week. He did say, though, that all shifts that needed to be covered in Taylor’s absence were covered.

Fire chief Richard Geike reported 23 calls in the previous month. He read a letter to the council in which first responders aided in a call involving a 3-year-old who was having a seizure and losing consciousness. The 3-year-old is now doing well, and the letter-writer stated that while he cannot be sure the boy’s life was saved by Nisswa first responders, first responders were praised for the care they provided.

In other business Aug. 21, the council:

• Heard an update on the public restrooms and welcome center. City engineer Don Anderson said the project is on time. The council accepted a $5,000 change order for the project, and also discussed what sort of locking mechanism to use on the building’s four doors once it’s built. Several options were discussed, including automatic locks or having the police department lock and unlock the restroom doors at certain times of day. The council decided to do more research into locking options and report back.

• Chose to accept a bid for Anderson Brothers construction in the amount of $198,872 for improvements on Smiley Road to be completed this fall. The bid was well over the city’s estimate for the work, but the recommendation from city staff was that the city could fall behind on street improvement projects if the city didn’t move forward. It was also acknowledged that waiting and receiving more bids in the spring was a gamble, as it was unknown if the bids would come in any lower at that time.

• Denied a request from the Holiday Station for a digital reader board sign. Instead of the black letters manually applied to a white background, the sign electronically would have displayed different specials offered by the business. The planning commission also voted against allowing the sign.

• Heard that the DNR expressed concern’s over the city’s guest quarters ordinance. The DNR asked the city make changes to align with its rules, and the city agreed to amend the ordinance to fit with the DNR’s requests.

• Set its truth in taxation meeting for Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.