Nisswa City Council agrees to pursue master parks plan

This plan would serve as a guiding document for park system infrastructure for the next 15 years.

Nisswa City Council meets March 15, 2022, at city hall
Nisswa City Council members Mark Utzinger, left, Mayor Don Ryan, Jesse Zahn and Don Jacobson are shown at the March 15, 2022, regular meeting online on the city's YouTube channel.
Echo Journal Screenshot

NISSWA — New council member Jesse Zahn had a relatively easy first Nisswa City Council meeting Tuesday, March 15. Mayor John Ryan welcomed Zahn, whom the council appointed a week earlier.

The council agreed to seek requests for proposals for a parks and recreation master plan. This plan would serve as a guiding document for park system infrastructure for the next 15 years.

Last month, the council heard about a long-range park plan and design that could include a full ice rink with a roof and a mini ice rink at the city park, pickleball courts, as well as a look at the future Camp Lincoln park area.

Public safety

The council approved the 2022 fire department budget and fire contracts for Lake Shore, Lake Edward Township, Pelican Township and part of Pequot Lakes.

The budget totals $253,000, an increase of 5.04% ($12,150) from last year.


Fire contract amounts are: Nisswa, $98,465 (plus $5,838 for the relief association); Lake Shore, $80,169 (plus $4,753 for the relief association); Lake Edward Township, $67,478 (plus $4,001 for the relief association); Pelican Township, $5,045 (plus $299 for the relief association); and Pequot Lakes, $1,843 (plus $109 for the relief association).

Contracts are based on land and building values of the entities covered.

A council memo said police K9 training continues and certification is slated for April. Then K9 Shuri would be able to do drug searches.

The council accepted two donations for Shuri: a donation of all veterinary services from the Babinski Foundation in rural Pequot Lakes and a donation of a lifetime supply of dog food from Barrett Petfood Innovations in Brainerd.

In February, police had 136 calls for service and 15 agency assists; issued one criminal citation and 75 traffic warnings; and made nine arrests.

Firefighters had 29 calls in February, including 22 emergency medical services calls, five alarms, a heater fire and a car accident.

Council member Mark Froehle was absent March 15.

In other business, the council:


  • Heard an update from the Lakes Area Food Shelf, including that the food shelf is open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays and 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays to provide food to those in need. The need has increased substantially this year.

Board member Dale Carlson asked the council for its support during March FoodShare Month. He sought a $5,000 donation or whatever amount the council considers reasonable. No action was taken.

  • Re-established precinct boundaries and polling place (Nisswa City Hall) as required after the 2020 census.
  • Appointed Sherry Johnson to a four-year term on the Nisswa Parks Commission.

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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