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Nisswa will still pursue building a new recycling center

Decision comes despite Crow Wing County's plans to expand recycling at the landfill

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NISSWA — Despite hearing that Crow Wing County intends to expand recycling at the county landfill east of Brainerd, Nisswa will continue to look at providing its own recycling site at a new location.

The city council on Tuesday, Feb. 15, authorized staff to consider options to move the city recycling center from behind the fire hall to the existing demolition gravel pit near the new sewer plant off Lower Roy Lake Road.

The city has long known its current site needs work, is too small and interferes with the fire hall operations. Even though the county in the past couple of years reduced the number of recycling sites in the county from 12 to two - the landfill and Ideal Transfer Station - the city decided to keep its recycling center with help from the county.

Currently, the city and county are each paying $35,000 in 2022 for Nisswa to have a recycling center. A memo from Public Works Director Tom Blomer said the county is looking to spend $2 million to rework the recycling site at the landfill.

“The county intends to drive all recycling activity in the county to this renewed site,” Blomer said in the memo, also noting the county indicated it may not subsidize hauling fees beyond 2022.

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City Administrator Jenny Max said Nisswa has 45% of recycling activity in the county.

In light of that, Mayor John Ryan said the city should continue to look into providing its own recycling option. The three council members agreed.

Blomer’s memo also said Widseth engineering firm’s construction cost estimate to build the new site is $334,650.

The Public Works Committee will seek feedback from the public and bring a future recommendation to the council.

Public safety

In his annual presentation to the council, Police Chief Craig Taylor said K9 officer Shuri has joined the department and though not certified to do drug work yet, she is getting acclimated to the squad, her partner Officer Conner Collette and the office.

Taylor shared 2021 yearend statistics with the council. Police issued 252 driving citations and 1,673 traffic warnings in 2021.

“I do think that kind of indicates that if you got a ticket in Nisswa you probably had it coming because we are very generous with warnings. We’re aggressive with the stops but generous with warnings,” Taylor said.

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Police made 140 arrests, “which is surprising to me,” Taylor said. “I remember years past we had 12 in a year.”

Of those arrests, 45 were for drugs and 46 for DWIs.

Police seized 927 grams of meth, 26 grams of heroin, 893 grams of marijuana and 44 grams of cocaine. Forfeited cash totaled $3,328 and eight vehicles were forfeited.

In January, police had 157 calls for service, 19 agency assists and 13 emergency medical services calls; issued four criminal citations, 53 traffic warnings and 21 traffic citations; and made 11 arrests.

The Nisswa Fire Department reported 32 calls in January, including 25 emergency medical services calls, five fire alarms and one each car fire and house fire in Mission Township.

Council member Don Jacobson participated in the meeting online.

In other business Feb. 15, the council:

  • Heard Max remind the public that the council has a vacancy and letters from people interested in being appointed to the seat through the end of the year are due to her by Feb. 25.
  • Approved a temporary liquor license and temporary beer license agreement for the Brainerd Jaycees for the April 29-30 Run for the Lakes event.
  • Approved the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce 2022 event list and discussed with the chamber the need to buy a downtown sound system.
  • Agreed to solicit a request for proposals for 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 somewhere, as well as look at the future Camp Lincoln park area.
  • Approved public works requests to buy a John Deere tractor and Diamond ditch mower for $106,116, a John Deere Gator for $19,642, and a Bobcat Toolcat for $62,813.
  • Approved a resolution supporting housing and local decision-making authority to send to the League of Minnesota Cities to include in documents provided to the state Legislature.
  • Agreed to submit an application for fiscal year 2023 community project funding to U.S. Congressman Pete Stauber for funding to establish a city water system.

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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