As he did in a previous meeting, Pequot Lakes City Council member Scott Pederson praised the city’s police department, this time in the wake of a confrontation between Nisswa’s mayor and two police officers, one from Pequot Lakes and one from Nisswa.

“He (Pequot Lakes officer Matt Jorgens) did a very, very good job,” Pederson said of the Aug. 29 incident where Nisswa Mayor Fred Heidmann was arrested under probable cause for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process while Jorgens and Nisswa police officer Matthew Thompson were conducting a traffic stop of another vehicle.

Pederson cited the officers’ professionalism in “a difficult situation while surrounded by demeaning and vulgar behavior of the mayor of Nisswa, Fred Heidmann.”

Police Chief Eric Klang said he wasn’t surprised at all by how the officers’ handled the situation, saying they did an excellent job that is typical of them all the time.

In other public safety business, Fire Chief Tom Nelson told the council the department can’t afford new trucks and will have to consider increasing fire contracts with area jurisdictions, which does affect the city, to be able to budget for capital equipment. The department’s oldest truck requires replacement as soon as possible.

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The council acknowledged the resignations of firefighters Dusty Ziemet (16 years) and Josh Cameron (three years), who both moved out of the area.

Firefighters had 10 calls in July, including a couple of structure fires from lightning strikes.

The council approved the 2020-21 police-school liaison officer agreement for $44,720. The agreement is in effect from September 2020-May 2021 and is an increase of $1,719,98 (4%) from this year’s contract. The school board approved the contract. Officer Kate Petersen will be the school liaison officer.

Police had 336 calls for service in July.

CARES Act funding

Tyler Glynn, executive director of the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., explained the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act/Coronavirus Relief Funds grant for nonprofits and small businesses in Crow Wing County.

He said a handful of Pequot Lakes businesses has applied for a grant. Any Pequot Lakes funds given to this grant program would first go to help Pequot Lakes businesses and nonprofits.

The city has received $176,748 in CARES Act funding, and approved spending $136,748 of those funds after lengthy discussion. City Clerk/Treasurer Angie Duus went through a list of possible uses for the funding with the council, sharing which ideas would likely fit under CARES Act funding parameters and which wouldn’t.

The council agreed to contribute $40,000 of the city’s CARES Act funding to the pool for the countywide grant.

Council member Jerry Akerson attended the meeting online via Zoom; other council members and city staff were present at city hall.

In other business Sept. 1, the council:

  • Approved a tobacco license for Lakes Landing, LLC, doing business as Pequot Lakes Store.

  • Amended a final plat for The Range as requested by Premier Homes, Inc., which proposes to subdivide property along Little Walnut Lane into 15 single-family residential building sites and one commonly owned lot (greenspace).

  • Adopted a final plat of the Heart of the Good Life development as requested by the city, which proposes to subdivide property south of Derksen Road into two commercial lots and one outlot. The council also approved city engineer Widseth’s professional services proposal related to infrastructure improvements into the Heart of the Good Life Development.

  • Adopted an ordinance amendment regarding beekeeping. The city will allow beekeeping in most zoning classifications with a required permit.

  • Agreed to allocate and use $76,580 in Highway 371 turnback funds for various maintenance tasks on Main Street, Front Street and Patriot Avenue.

  • Agreed to reimburse Loon Lake Township the full $2,719 - instead of half of that amount - to apply calcium chloride on North Sluetter Road, which is part of both jurisdictions but has no Loon Lake residents/taxpayers.

  • Learned the city received 31 applications for the city administrator position with an application deadline of Wednesday, Sept. 2. The council also agreed to increase the city clerk/treasurer and administrative assistant salaries by 20% each retroactive to July 27 until 30 days after a new city administrator starts.

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.