About a dozen citizens joined Crosslake city staff and council members Monday, July 13, at a first meeting in the new Crosslake City Hall council chambers.

The new city hall building on Daggett Bay Road has been open for several weeks. It houses city administration on one end - which includes the city administrator, city clerk and planning and zoning staff - and the police department at the other end. In the middle and straight through the front doors is the council chambers.

Jon Kolstad, Crosslake zoning administrator, talks to a customer on the phone in the new administration offices. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
Jon Kolstad, Crosslake zoning administrator, talks to a customer on the phone in the new administration offices. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone entering city hall must wear a mask - they are provided at the entrance for people who don’t have one - and use hand sanitizer, also provided at the building entrance. At Monday night’s council meeting, all staff, council members and citizens wore masks.

There are also “X” markings on the floor to ensure social distancing, and chairs are spaced in the council chambers to meet occupancy and social distancing guidelines.

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The new building is just off County Road 66, where the city owns seven acres, and just down the road from the former city hall building. That location will become occupied solely by the fire department after renovations.

During a tour Thursday, July 9, City Administrator Mike Lyonais said the new building is more handicap friendly and offers improved and up-to-date technology, a bigger council chambers, more space overall, a full police garage and improved security. A basement features storage space and an emergency operations room for emergency services to operate if needed.

Crosslake administration offices house planning and zoning staff, the city clerk and city administrator. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
Crosslake administration offices house planning and zoning staff, the city clerk and city administrator. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Meetings are still available to attend online via Zoom, and people can call in and be projected on four big screens - two on each side of the room - for an interactive meeting. People watching can also see the entire council and staff, as well as the podium for speakers.

Building construction started at the end of September. Overall, the total cost for the new city hall and renovated building for the fire hall is approximately $5 million, paid from issuing bonds and using $1.4 million from existing funds.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.