Revised roads standards that have been in the works since 2012 were approved by the Nisswa City Council on a split vote Wednesday, Jan. 15, after lengthy discussion. The new standards say that construction of new roads will follow the National Park Service Road Manual, which states that roads with less than 50 cars a day need only be 8 feet wide. The default for road reconstruction is the existing road, the new standards state.
Nisswa City Council member Jan Pierce told the council Wednesday, Jan. 15, that many citizens living on County Road 115 (or Nashway Road) are displeased with Crow Wing County’s plan to reconstruct the road. She said only 13 percent of the residents on County Road 115 are supporting the reconstruction. They’d prefer that the county resurface the road and address a few hot spots. City planner Loren Wickham said residents are requesting the city take over the road either by annexation or the county turning back a portion of the road to the city.
The Nisswa City Council decided Wednesday, Jan. 15, to hold a workshop meeting with staff and the city’s attorney to discuss roles and city code. City attorney James Gammello said at the meeting that he’d received a call from a council member who is a liaison to a department, and the department head stated he or she wasn’t comfortable working with the council member.
For Mike Schwankl of Breezy Point, being a firefighter started as a way to give back and turned into a career. Since December he’s been working full time for FIRE — Fire Instruction and Rescue Education — a local company that provides training to emergency services personnel as well as private companies. It’s fitting that in August, Schwankl will have spent 10 years with the Pequot Lakes Fire Department. Schwankl’s desire to join the Pequot Lakes Fire Department was partly inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Around a dozen residents convened on Crosslake City Hall Monday night, Jan. 13, for an open house regarding the proposed Crosslake planning and zoning ordinance. The city hired a consultant to rewrite its ordinance, which is now in draft form. The council approved a comment period and two open houses, the second of which was Jan. 13, for citizens and stakeholders to review the proposed ordinance. Chris Pence is Crow Wing County Land Services Supervisor. Land services administers planning and zoning services to Crosslake.
The Crosslake City Council unanimously approved separation agreements Monday night, Jan. 13, with the two planning and zoning staff members it terminated last September. In total, the city paid out $45,185.84 between the two severance packages, not counting attorney’s fees. Both former city employees, Ken Anderson and Bryan Hargrave, entered into separation agreements with the city in which neither party admits to wrongdoing. The city’s labor attorney, Steven Fecker, negotiated on behalf of the city.
Eagle View Elementary Principal Dave Endicott has been chosen as Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (W-H-A) School District’s next superintendent. “I’m excited,” Endicott said in a phone interview, adding, “It’s bittersweet. I love where I work right now and the people I work with.” He said he’s negotiating a contract with the district, and nothing’s been signed yet. According to the W-H-A website, the school board intends to have a contract finalized by Feb. 10.
As the Pequot Lakes School Board made its annual appointments Monday night, Jan. 13, it named board member Kim Bolz-Andolshek board chair. She was also chair in 2012. Board member Mike Erholtz was named vice chair, and board member Valarie Wallin, who was 2013 chair, is now clerk/treasurer.
Brent Christensen, Minnesota Telecom Alliance President, visited the Crosslake City Council Monday, Jan. 13, to explain why some Crosslake residents may be experiencing dropped long-distance calls. Christensen said that not every phone company has a contract with all other phone companies, which means that calls originate but are never “terminated,” or received, on the other end.
Sentencing for a 59-year-old Crosslake man — who pleaded guilty in November to second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon where he allegedly shot a 31-year-old Crosslake man in the leg in June of 2013 — has been rescheduled to Feb. 27. Larry Joe Bolton was scheduled to be seen Monday in front of Judge Erik Askegaard in Crow Wing District Court, but the date was rescheduled.