Despite it being approved in September, the preliminary budget was a key discussion point for the Pequot Lakes City Council again at its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The council approved the preliminary budget in September with an addition to pave North Sluetter Road with a rustic road definition. Because of this, City Administrator Nancy Malecha presented the preliminary tax levy numbers again. Based on the preliminary report, the city would operate in 2020 with a tax levy revenue of 1,813,463, with a total revenue of $5,636,373 against expenditures totalling $6,572,223.

Discussion rose regarding whether the purchase of a new loader for the city was a necessary purchase at roughly $260,000.

“It is a vital cog for the streets,” Public Works Director Jason Gorr told the council. “We are getting toward the tail end of the useful life of the current tractor/backhoe. It has cost us money, having to contract out last year on the back-to-back storms … It is a step that is necessary.

“If we are committed to plowing and maintaining our streets, that is a very useful tool for us, and we can use it in the summer as well," he said.

The council also discussed its thoughts and concerns regarding the resurfacing project of County Road 107, set to begin in the spring of 2021. The final design of the road will be completed by the end of 2020, and bids will be accepted for the project in February or March of 2021.

Absent council member

Board member Jerry Akerson was not in attendance. As it was his seventh absence of the year for health reasons, discussion rose among council members as to whether it was time for the council to do something. Malecha said that is something the council must decide.

“I feel like we should decide,” council member Mimi Swanson said. “We are missing input … I think we need to discuss it.”

Akerson attended council meetings in June, July and August.

In other action Oct. 1, the council:

  • Heard from Tyler Gardner, of Pequot Lakes Sanitation, who asked the council to reach out to Crow Wing County and request commissioners put SCORE funding for recycling back into effect for cities in the area. Council members agreed that writing a letter to the county would be appropriate.

  • Approved the final plat of the range along Little Walnut Lane, where the applicant proposed subdividing the property into 15 single-family residential building sites and one commonly owned lot. The applicant has complied with the 13 preliminary plat conditions, including payment of the park dedication fee, and all documents were deemed acceptable by the city attorney.

  • Accepted a purchase agreement to sell an industrial park lot to Joe Dotty, of Dotty Holdings LLP, for $55,550, and to rezone that lot from “public” to “light industrial.”

  • Adopted a proclamation declaring Sunday, Nov. 10, to be “American Legion Auxiliary Centennial Day.”

  • Learned the Pequot Lakes Police Department had 382 calls for service in August, including 12 traffic arrests. The fire department responded to 10 calls in August, five of which were vehicle or structure fires.