Future Nisswa city projects discussed further

Projects include city hall renovations, Pickle Factory needs, recycling center location


NISSWA — Nisswa’s plate of future projects is heaping.

The city council further discussed priority projects for 2023-24 and beyond at a special meeting Monday, Feb. 27, agreeing to proceed with three projects on the docket for this summer and to continue discussion on other pricey projects.

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Summer projects include:

  • Build the Gull Lake Trail on Lower Roy Lake Road and Hazelwood Drive. Estimated city cost is $1,660,871 to be paid from the city’s general fund, parks fund and grants.
  • Construct a roundabout at County State Aid Highway 77 and Nokomis Avenue, which is the entrance to Grand View Lodge. Estimated city cost is $152,915.
  • Install a new roof at the fire hall because the current roof is leaking. Estimated cost is $90,000, to be paid with general fund reserves and/or American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

Ways to fund future projects will be further explored, including bonds, grants and fundraising through the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation.

Projects’ impacts on staff will also be a continuing discussion.


Other projects the council discussed but did not yet approve include:

  • City hall improvements funded by bonding: Do structural improvements (roof repair, new windows) and an interior remodel (updating security and front desk customer service area) with possible plans to bond in fall 2023 and complete work in the 2023-24 winter season. 

A future phase would include expansion by constructing an addition on the building’s north side.
The council will talk more about this at the March 21 regular meeting when they’ll know how many projects they can combine in a bond.

  • Camp Lincoln Road parcels: Build the road, parking lot and bathroom for this new park area by the end of 2024 to be paid with city funds, grants and bonding.

The council agreed to determine whether any environmental or archaeological studies will be needed before proceeding further. This will give the city time to market this park and engage people in the process.

  • Nisswa City Park improvements: In 2023, create a roadmap for fundraising, such as exploring a possible BLACF fund and a possible local option sales tax.

In 2024, design a playground and pickleball courts for an estimated $25,000 from city funds and grants; and complete a design for outdoor rinks, warming house and garage for an estimated $25,000 from city funds and grants.

  • 2025 road bond: Identify roads in the worst condition or worst need of repair by June, so by the end 2023 or early 2024 the city can engage residents on those roads for feedback.

The current road bond runs from 2018-2025. Plans should be prepared in the next 18 months to be ready to issue the next road bond in 2025.

  • Pickle Factory improvements: Determine the scope of the project in 2023-24 by creating requests for proposals for a consultant to evaluate the building’s needs; evaluate the financial health of the liquor fund and identify building deficiencies and provide recommendations.

The Pickle Factory is in need of significant repairs. The council must establish how to assess current deficiencies, develop a plan and determine proper finding sources.
The council agreed to bring this topic to the liquor committee for feedback.

  • Recycling center, compost-gravel storage, police shooting range and police impound lot: The public works committee has long addressed this topic. A possible recommendation from the committee to move the recycling center to the city’s wastewater plant area and entertain contracts for curbside recycling pickup in the city will be discussed at the regular March 21 council meeting.
  • Various land purchases: Find land opportunities where the city can grow over the next 10-50 years.
  • Northwest and southeast backage roads: Backage roads have been proposed as a way to create development opportunities, run new sewer/water and improve safety.
  • Citywide water: Research will continue into creating a city water system to help grow the community. Initial research is needed to determine how funding would work, develop a realistic timeline, etc.

Council member Mark Utzinger attended this meeting online via Zoom.

Find recordings of Nisswa City Council meetings on the city's YouTube channel.


Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or . Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

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 or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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