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City hires five volunteer firefighters

The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 7, hired five volunteer, paid-on-call firefighters: Jake Cameron, Travis Jacobus, Cody Larson, Ian Urlich and Nathan Wgeishofski.

The hirings are contingent upon successfully passing the required physical examination.

Firefighters had five calls in December: assisted police with traffic control at an accident with injuries in Pequot Lakes, chimney fire good intent in Jenkins Township, chimney fire in Pequot Lakes, assisted police at accident with injuries in Pequot Lakes and a snowmobile fire in Jenkins Township.

Officers elected include Tom Nelson, chief; Bill Rickard, first assistant chief; Brian Evenson, second assistant chief; Mike Schwankl, captain 1; Dave Szymanski, captain 2; Neil Casanova, captain 3; Jeremie Bridge, safety officer; and Bob Peterson I, secretary.

Planning and zoning

The city council adopted an updated comprehensive plan in February 2013, The city updated its Wellhead Protection Plan, and the Minnesota Department of Health approved that update in October 2013.

The city processed 80 zoning-related applications in 2013, including 64 land use permits, three conditional use permits, two variances, two preliminary plats, one final plat, five subdivisions and three rezones.

That total number of applications compares to 68 in 2012, 57 in 2011, 60 in 2010, 70 in 2009, 99 in 2008 and 116 in 2007.

Annual appointments

The council made the following annual appointments for 2014:

• Approved an agreement with Mallie Law Office for prosecution services and with Community Growth Institute of Baxter for planning services.

• Reappointed Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm of Baxter as city engineer; appointed Lakes State Bank, American National Bank and Wells Fargo, all in Pequot Lakes, as the city’s official depositories; designated the Pineandlakes Echo Journal as the official newspaper and the Brainerd Dispatch as the secondary official newspaper; and reappointed Lakeland Agency of Pequot Lakes as the insurance agent of record.

• Appointed Flaherty and Hood of St. Paul as city attorney. The council sought proposals and received eight. Chris Hood and Robert Scott will be the city’s main attorneys. The firm specializes in serving cities in Greater Minnesota.

• Authorized annual appointments and council liaison assignments.

In other business Jan. 7,

the council:

• Appointed Jean Clark and Terri Grimes to the Library Board for three years each; reappointed Wesley Wilson and Deb Brown to the Planning Commission for three years each; reappointed Cindy Rieck to the Economic Development Commission for three years; reappointed Karen Ettesvold and Jeffrey Bruch to the Park Commission for three years each; and appointed Clara Nelson for four years and Tamra Lanning for five years to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).

• Accepted the resignation of Peggy Packard from the HRA.

• Learned plans for North Washington Street improvements are in the first draft stage, and the council will be asked in February or March to advertise for bids for the project.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at Follow her on Facebook.