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Fifty Lakes council approves donation to fund invasive species inspections

The Fifty Lakes City Council agreed to donate $3,500 to help fund aquatic invasive species inspections at the city’s public accesses at the request of the Fifty Lakes Property Owners Association.

According to draft minutes from the council’s March 10 meeting, association secretary Ken Neihart made the donation request with the promise that the association would match the funds. The donation, made from the city’s parks fund, will pay for inspections led by Crow Wing County in coordination with inspectors trained by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The county’s website states that 2014 is the fourth year the county has coordinated with the DNR and local lake associations to provide watercraft inspections at public accesses, and it is the second year the program will be implemented county-wide. In 2013, inspections were conducted at 17 lakes throughout the county.

In other business March 10, the council:

• Heard from Planning and Zoning Administrator Gordy Reller about two possible interim use permits for the gravel pit. Reller also shared with the council that he’s been notified that a company is researching locations for communications towers in the area. The council voted to place a moratorium on the construction of towers within city limits.

Reller said the reason the council might take this action would be to have time to research the issue further and strengthen existing ordinances. According to Reller, however, the council cannot place a moratorium without making the proper 10-day public notice and proposing a resolution.

• Heard from John Bowen, director of emergency management for Crow Wing County, regarding the use of emergency notifications through cell phones. Bowen is working to implement the program in the county. The alert system can be used for emergencies, community events and other public notices. The cost for the system would range from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the number of cities that elect to participate.

• Discussed the patio addition to the municipal bar and reviewed the estimate from architect Bruce Bissonnette. The council requested Bissonnette attend the next council meeting to answer questions regarding the addition.

• Approved the hire of two new bartenders at $7.50 per hour, and approved the disbursement of former bartender Jake Stern’s sick and severance pay from the city’s general fund.

• Heard from council member Jay Weinmann that CTC of Brainerd conducted a security audit of the city’s computer system and recommended the city increase security with an additional password login. The council approved paying CTC $1,000 for its services.

• Accepted timber sales of $1,647.34 into the roads fund and approved payment of bills in the amount of $68,274.86. The council also approved paying $6,200 to Mathias C. Justin, Ltd., for a 2013 city audit report.

• Approved Mayor Ken Hersey’s request to allow city employees to attend loss control workshops held by the League of Minnesota Cities while receiving hourly wages and mileage reimbursement.

Chelsey Perkins can be reached at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Chelsey.

Chelsey Perkins
Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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