Season's greetings and Merry Christmas to Nisswa residents near and far! Nisswa is a wonderful place to live, and we are so blessed. As 2017 closes I would like to update the citizens with the many things that have happened.
This was a year of many exciting, and in some cases needed, changes at city hall. The council went through the process of hiring a city administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city and provide strong leadership and a new level of professionalism for the city and the staff.
The city also hired a new planning and zoning administrator, Desmond McGeough, who has connected well with the public in assisting them with answering questions and assisting them through whatever paperwork process they may require.
Next the city hired a new park and recreation director, Matthew Hill, who is doing amazing things with the children and adult programs, as well as leading the way toward the completion of the lakeside park and discussions on the final leg of the Gull Lake Trail from the city boundary with Lake Shore to the tunnel in Nisswa. This will make Nisswa the intersection of the two trail systems and a real asset to the citizens and visitors alike, providing over a hundred miles of trails with many places to view nature, stop for food, drink, historical sites and, yes, even shopping!
On a more serious note the council has been wrestling this year with the assessment policy that was passed last year but brought with it much controversy. So the council spent time this year becoming more informed as to the city's finances, past history of road resurfacing and the desire to be assessed for milling and resurfacing by the citizens.
The council voted at the December council meeting to keep the assessment policy in place to be used for specialty projects as they may arise by citizens, but not to assess for standard maintenance and resurfacing of city roads and streets.
The public works committee has come up with a 40-year cycle for the resurfacing of the streets and the city will be working in 2018 to finalize the long-term plan for funding this important asset.
The city will likely be looking at Hazelwood Drive and the streets around Grand View Lodge for updating, possible changes and any needed utility needs over the next few months. This initial look and discussion will likely be taking place throughout 2018.
The city has also begun the discussion and process of the expansion of the wastewater treatment facility. We have learned about the current site and that it offers approximately 400 ERCs before the current site could be at its capacity. Very difficult to predict, but this amount of expansion potential could serve the city's needs for the next 20-25 years, depending on development demand.
If you have questions or are interested in being part of any of these discussions, please contact myself or city hall for details.
Finally, in 2018 we will be working on the city website and getting all recorded meetings on the website for your convenience. (As part of learning the best format to get meetings posted, we have one meeting currently posted on the website with more to come!)
Be safe, get out and enjoy the splendor of the area, and I hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends!