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Pequot Lakes City Council identifies 2014 priorities

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More than a dozen Pequot Lakes City Council members and staff members gathered around a table in the council chambers Tuesday, Jan. 21, for a brainstorming session on 2014 council priorities to benefit the city.

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Top ideas at the end of the session included:

• Working on a downtown plan to encompass streetlights, streetscaping, trails and public restrooms.

• Completing Sibley Lake Park and creating an outdoor ice skating rink in town.

• Developing a marketing plan for Pequot Lakes.

• Developing a street plan.

• Creating a city administrator position.

Mayor Nancy Adams sought ideas from those around the table and wrote them down on sheets of paper taped to the wall for all to see. Ideas fell into one of six categories the council established at its first such brainstorming session a year ago.

Council members then received 24 star stickers each, which they placed next to the ideas they most favored.

Following are the categories and staff/council ideas that originated Jan. 21:

Economic development

• Marketing plan for Pequot Lakes.

• Incentives to draw people and business to Pequot Lakes.

Parks and Amenities

• Public bathrooms.

• Complete Sibley Lake Park improvements.

• Streetscaping.

• Outdoor ice skating rink with roof (possibly add to capital improvement plan).

Government

• City administrator.

Finance

• Bonding plan.

Planning

• Work on downtown plan to define downtown area that encompasses streetlights, streetscaping, trails, public restrooms and a possible parking lot or green space in blighted areas.

• Sibley Street bike and walking path.

• Extend Tree Farm Road to County Road 107.

Public works

• Develop street plan and criteria.

Council member Scott Pederson said: “If you have two roads that need fixing and you only have money to fix one, how do you decide which one?”

He suggested having some kind of a scoring sheet and street rehabilitation policy to help make that determination.

• Continue discussions on future road turnbacks, including Highways 371 and 11 design, as well as the future gateways to the city (Highway 371 and County Road 168 intersection and Highway 371 and County Road 17 intersection) after the expanded Highway 371 is built.

• Sewer facility study, including current spray irrigation fields.

• Equipment needed to sustain improvements.

• Redesign city hall (have all offices on one level for the public).

The brainstorming session resulted in a lot of ideas that City Clerk Sandy Peine will compile for the council’s Feb. 3 meeting. Top ideas were assigned to city commissions and committees.

“It doesn’t cost anything to dream,” Pederson said.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook.

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