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Lake Shore: Council approves quarterly sewer rate increase

The Lake Shore City Council on Monday, Oct. 26, agreed to increase the quarterly sewer rates from $100 to $125 per equivalent residential connection (ERC) effective Jan. 1, 2016, to help pay for needed sewer system improvements.

The Lake Shore City Council on Monday, Oct. 26, agreed to increase the quarterly sewer rates from $100 to $125 per equivalent residential connection (ERC) effective Jan. 1, 2016, to help pay for needed sewer system improvements.

Letters outlining this proposal were sent to all residents who are connected to city sewer, and the city heard from two people. Elaine Leach and Karen Walker both suggested the city consider using a metered system. Mayor John Poston said that would add expense and increase costs to residents.

"This would add a lot for the infrastructure we currently have," Poston said. "It would cost some money to actually operate it. And at the end of the day the people who use the system have to pay for the system."

Teri Hastings, city administrator/planning and zoning administrator, said seasonal residents must realize that the city maintains the sewer system 365 days a year. Sometimes when seasonal residents aren't here it's harder to maintain the system with less use, she said.

"It's the right thing for us to do to get our system up to date today and to keep it healthy for the future," Poston said.

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The letter sent to residents explained that earlier this year the city's engineer prepared the first comprehensive inventory and status of the city's primary sewer lift stations that were installed in the early 1990s. The plan calls for an average expenditure of $62,500 annually plus engineering costs for the next 20 years to bring the existing system into proper working order.

To meet these costs, the city determined that the increase of $25 per quarter for each ERC was necessary. The additional money collected will be put into a Wastewater Capital Improvement Fund.

Public safety

Police reported 112 incidents from Sept. 28-Oct. 25, including 55 traffic-related incidents and 57 miscellaneous calls.

Traffic incidents included 48 traffic warnings, three traffic citations and one property damage crash. Miscellaneous calls included 18 public assists, seven suspicious activity, seven alarms, four disturbance/disorderly, three aquatic invasive species violations and one theft complaint.

Lake Shore police assisted Cass County twice and Nisswa police three times.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Approved the final plat for Lost Lake Lodge Resort, Common Interest Community, as submitted by Rebound Lodge (Tom Steffens and Brett Reese) doing business as Lost Lake Lodge. The plan is to expand the resort and restructure it to allow for second party ownership.

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• Certified delinquent sewer accounts for $800.

• Changed the regular December city council meeting date from Dec. 28 to Dec. 21 to coincide with the truth in taxation meeting. The council will meet a half-hour early, at 6:30 p.m., for a public holiday gathering.

• Learned the city issued 10 building permits in September for a total valuation of $659,500. So far this year 63 permits have been issued (compared to 32 by this time last year) for a total valuation of $2,921,475.

Council member John Terwilliger was absent.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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