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Crosslake City Council addresses affordable housing need

The city has struggled with employee retention with part of the issue being the high cost of housing in and around Crosslake.

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CROSSLAKE — The Crosslake City Council discussed affordable housing needs in the area at its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 8.

The comments came after a report from council members Aaron Herzog and Marcia Seibert-Volz regarding their interview with Adam Casanova, a former Crosslake police officer.

Herzog and Seibert-Volz said Casanova cited the high cost of housing in the area as the main reason he resigned. He bought a house in Brainerd and faced high commuting costs. He resigned from the Crosslake Police Department after receiving a higher-paying offer from another department.

“This is an election year. We’re going to have a new body up here next year. Employee retention is at the top of the list, so that’s something to be very much aware of,” said Mayor Dave Nevin. “Not low-income housing, not entry level, but somehow we’ve got to get some affordable housing, and I think the city’s going to probably have to take part in that at some level.”

Later in the meeting, Police Chief Erik Lee requested a closed meeting with the Council regarding officer pay, retention and hiring. The meeting will take place Thursday, Aug. 11.

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Crosslake Playground

Alden Hardwick of the Parks and Library Foundation updated the council on the new playground. The project is nearly finished, and Hardwick said he is pleased with the results.

Hardwick read a letter of thanks from the PAL Foundation to the Council and TJ Graumann, Crosslake director of parks, recreation and library, for their work and support of the park project.

The grand opening of the park will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, during Crosslake Days. The PAL Foundation will enter the chili cook-off as part of the opening event.

Public Safety

In July, Crosslake police reported 378 incidents in Crosslake and 79 in Mission Township.

Crosslake activity included 22 agency assists,16 alarms, one assault, 64 emergency medical service calls, six fireworks complaints, 19 public assists, five suspicious vehicle complaints, four thefts, 13 traffic citations and 104 traffic warnings.

Mission Township calls included seven agency assists, two emergency medical service requests, one suspicious vehicle, one theft, 14 traffic citations and 52 traffic warnings.

The Crosslake Fire Department reported 65 calls in July, including 45 medical assists, four agency assists and one fire other / chimney fire.

In other business Monday, the council:

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  • Read a thank-you letter from David Wigren of Whitefish Avenue for postponing road construction
  • Accepted donations: $924.75 and $63 from PAL Foundation for the playground and Friday bridge room rental, respectively, $33 from Craig Lindholm and $25 from Joyce Scheuller for the cart tour, and two brass reading room lamps for the library valued at $600 from Ronda Hopkins
  • Denied a request to buy back one of two cemetery plots sold because the headstone desired encroached upon the second lot
  • Accepted a request to buy back 16 unused cemetery plots
  • Denied a request from Alan Johnson to use the city logo on t-shirts, citing lack of information
  • Agreed to remove Planning and Zoning Administrator Peter Gansen from probation
  • Approved the Minnesota Public Employee Association contracts for final signatures
  • Approved a final plat to turn 35.89 acres into 12 tracts
  • Agreed to name an unnamed road Levi Lane and add the road to the Master Road Name Index
  • Set a hearing on the assessment of the 2022 road improvements for Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.
  • Accepted the Public Works Commission’s recommendation that connection fees for Moonlite Bay, Moonlite Square and Carwash be based on 75% flow rate during the wet months (March through Aug.)

The initial payment, due before connection, would be 80% of the engineer’s estimated amount. Final payment would be due in one year, with fee adjusted depending on flow verification of the previous year.

  • Agreed to allow Police Chief Lee to hire part-time officers rather than a new full-time officer
  • Approved the purchase of Challenge Coins to be given out and sold by the Crosslake Police Department
  • Heard from Jerome Volz in public forum about weeds around city buildings.
Discussion lasts 45 minutes at start of regular council meeting as council considers how to handle issues
Thanks to donors and volunteers, all phases were built and the grand opening of new equipment will be in July
Assessment policy continues to be a struggle for city

Recordings of Crosslake City Council meetings can be found on the city's YouTube channel.

Megan Buffington, Echo Journal intern, may be reached at 218-855-5854 or megan.buffington@pineandlakes.com . She is a 2021 Pequot Lakes High School graduate who attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Related Topics: CROSSLAKECROSSLAKE CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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