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Pequot Lakes: Fire tower nominated for National Register of Historic Places

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The Pequot Lakes City Council learned Tuesday, April 4, that the Pequot Lakes fire tower is nominated to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society asked the council to send a letter of support, and the council agreed to do so.

Public safety

At its meeting April 4, the council accepted a grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for the police department to buy a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) speed detection device. Officers use this hand-hand held radar system in patrol cars to capture the speed of motorists.

The LIDAR is valued at $2,500.

The police department received this grant for its active participation in the Brainerd lakes Towards Zero Deaths program. Frank Scherf from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety presented the grant to the city April 4.

In other public safety business, the council authorized a pay increase for police officer Ryan Franz, who successfully completed his probationary period.

The fire department reported six calls in March, including assisting police at a vehicle accident in Jenkins and another in Pequot Lakes; a snowmobile accident rescue and a medical assist, both in Breezy Point and both canceled; a two-vehicle accident with fire in Pequot Lakes; and a gas leak in Jenkins.

In other business April 4, the council:

• Adopted a resolution declaring unclaimed property as abandoned so the city can sell unclaimed bikes the police department has picked up and had for the past six months. Police are considering collaborating with Breezy Point, Crosslake and Nisswa police to have a large bike auction.

• Adopted a resolution supporting dedicated state funding for city streets to send to legislators. This pertains to a proposed omnibus transportation funding bill that would raise approximately $57 million annually for dedicated state funding of city streets.

Half of the funds would be directed to an account for cities with populations under 5,000.

• Agreed to amend an ordinance pertaining to the abatement of public nuisances to allow for a more efficient and streamlined court process to enforce the council's abatement orders. Council member Jerry Akerson was opposed.

The abatement order would be served on the property owner, and the city would immediately seek an order from district court enforcing the abatement order.

Without this amendment the city would have to start a new civil lawsuit, which is a time-consuming and inefficient process, according to the council's information packet. The city attorney recommends this amendment.

• Agreed to hire David Drown Associates to update the city's water and sewer rate study for $6,125 with a National Joint Powers Alliance discount.

• Agreed to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, to consider adopting orders declaring properties to be public nuisances. The council's regular monthly meeting is at 6:30 p.m. that day.