Thirteen Pequot Lakes businesses’ applications were approved to receive $118,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act/Coronavirus Relief Funds Grant for nonprofits and small businesses in Crow Wing County, the Pequot Lakes City Council learned Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Six applications did not meet the criteria. The Crow Wing County Board was to decide whether to seek another round of applicants because there is still money available.

The council agreed to forgive the October-December 2020 lease payments totaling $2,325 and all of the 2021 lease payments totaling $9,300 for the Pequot Lakes Welcome Center. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, which includes the Pequot Lakes and Crosslake chambers, pays the lease.

Pequot Lakes Chamber Director Katie Wassermann said the chamber has lost 60% of its revenue and continues to operate on reduced hours at least until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city owns the welcome center building and leases it to the chamber for $775 per month.

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Wassermann said the chamber is a nonprofit organization that receives much of its funds through membership dues.

The council approved a one-year extension for John Dotty to complete a new office building on the warranty deed for his Pequot Lakes Industrial Park lot. This is also related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dotty plans to start construction in the spring.

The council learned what projects are underway using the city’s CARES Act funding. The council previously approved using $136,748 of CARES Act funding for the city hall front entrance project, minus an outside Americans with Disability Act-compliant door for $5,400 since that was already a budgeted item; ADA door at the Cole Memorial Building; HVAC improvements to improve the air quality of city buildings; an access control system and front entrance camera; technology upgrades for council and city staff to enable them to work from home and attend meetings virtually; along with cleaning supplies and personal protective gear for the police and fire departments to deal with COVID-19 related calls.

Council member Jerry Akerson was absent Oct. 6. All other council members attended the meeting at city hall, though it was also available online via Zoom.

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.