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Nisswa is now looking to keep recycling at downtown location

Staff is authorized to look into expanding the recycling site behind the fire hall

Nisswa City Council meets Aug. 16, 2022.jpg
The Nisswa City Council takes up business Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
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NISSWA — After looking to relocate the city’s recycling center, the Nisswa City Council agreed at its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 16, to instead look at expanding and improving recycling services at the current site - behind the Nisswa Fire Hall.

After several public works meetings regarding the city’s recycling site, Public Works Director Tom Blomer asked the council to:

  • Have City Administrator Jenny Max write necessary letters to request from the Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service the ability to use nearby park land to expand the recycling site at its current location.
  • Have staff get the necessary signage and barricades to block off the fire hall site for fire training when necessary.
  • Have staff prepare ordinance language to require haulers to provide curbside recycling as part of their service at no extra charge within city limits.
  • Have staff identify possible alternative downtown sites for a new recycling center if expansion can’t occur at the existing site.

The council approved Blomer’s request to have staff pursue the four items.
Mayor John Ryan said the city doesn’t have any other space downtown for a recycling facility unless it bought property.

Council member Jesse Zahn said the recent city survey regarding the recycling center showed residents want to keep the facility downtown.

Read more about recycling in Nisswa
NISSWA — Nisswa’s recycling survey garnered 417 responses with nearly 80% indicating they want the recycling center to remain behind the fire hall.
Residents speak in favor of keeping site at fire hall and not moving it out of downtown area
Decision comes despite Crow Wing County's plans to expand recycling at the landfill
Room is needed for more recycling bins, especially after other Crow Wing County recycling sites closed and Nisswa's recycling site has become even more popular

The council had been exploring a different location - at the existing demolition gravel pit near the new sewer plant off Lower Roy Lake Road. The city’s public works committee agreed to explore options after residents objected to moving recycling from downtown to the new proposed location.

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Blomer emphasized that the current recycling site is “broken” as it is over capacity and has been for a long time. Expanding and relocating the city recycling area has been discussed for nearly two years because the current site is showing its age, needs repair, is undersized and interferes with fire hall operations.

Crow Wing County in the past couple of years reduced the number of recycling sites in the county from 12 to two - the landfill east of Brainerd and the Ideal Transfer Station - but Nisswa opted to keep its recycling site.

Currently, the city and county each are paying $35,000 in 2022 for Nisswa’s recycling site.

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Food shelf

The council heard from Tim Moore, interim board chair of the Lakes Area Food Shelf, and Jean Kraft, board secretary, who thanked the council for its $25,000 donation to the food shelf.

“This contribution will have immediate impact on local citizens, as we will use those funds to purchase food,” a memo from the food shelf to the council said.

“Your donation was absolutely fantastic,” Moore said, noting the number of people the food shelf serves has doubled.

Moore and Kraft each shared a success story from people the food shelf has helped.

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In other business Aug. 16, the council:

  • Recognized Blomer for 15 years of service.
  • Approved the final plat for ¼ Mile Depot, a proposed development of nine single-family residential building sites on 10.6 acres off Lower Cullen Road.
  • Held a budget workshop before the regular meeting where the council heard from department managers regarding 2023 budgets.

  • Adopted an updated emergency management plan for the city.
  • Agreed to order a police squad car in 2023 not to exceed $56,000. 

A police department speed study showed Lower Roy Lake Road and Wolf Chase Road as areas of concern for speeding.
In July, police had 297 calls for service; issued 192 traffic warnings, 41 traffic citations and one criminal citation; made nine arrests; and assisted other agencies 32 times.

Firefighters had 62 calls in July, including 53 emergency medical services calls, six alarms, two vehicle crashes and one tree on powerline.

  • Agreed to buy a F450 truck for the public works department for up to $96,621.
  • Accepted a proposal from Widseth engineering firm for redesign work for a proposed roundabout at the Grand View Lodge entrance on County State Aid Highway 77 for $22,980.
  • Approved various road repairs by Anderson Brothers for $80,232.

Find recordings of Nisswa City Council meetings on the city's YouTube channel.
Nancy Vogt, editor, 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.

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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