Patriot Avenue designs come with estimated $1 million price tag for Pequot Lakes

Council is far from making decisions, but talks about possible design ideas

Patriot Avenue in downtown Pequot Lakes
Patriot Avenue in downtown Pequot Lakes is shown in 2019 when the city council was discussing doing a traffic study.
Echo Journal File Photo

PEQUOT LAKES — The Pequot Lakes City Council discussed a study done by Widseth engineering firm to redesign Patriot Avenue, the former Highway 371, through downtown.

Estimated project cost is $1,089,280. The council is far from making any decisions. They discussed the pros and cons of various design ideas to make the stretch more of a city street over a state highway at their regular meeting Monday, March 6.

That’s a lot of money to spend on three blocks in town.
Cheri Seils

City Engineer Tim Houle said the study is a budgetary tool to consider.

The project entails Lake to Woodman Street; Woodman to Main Street; and Main to Sibley Street.

Council member Dan Ronning asked if the council could just focus on Main to Sibley.


Council member Scott Pederson said he considers this one block as the most important block in town.

Patriot Avenue is scheduled to be chip sealed this summer, so the council will continue to discuss what it wants to do with the downtown portion of Patriot Avenue.

Regarding another potential street project, the council authorized spending $11,600 for Widseth engineering firm to complete a study of Main and Front streets.

The study would consider Main Street from the west ramp roundabout of the Highway 371 interchange to Front Street; and Front Street from Main Street to Patriot Avenue for a potential 2024 project.


The council agreed to submit a grant request to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for a 50-50 grant for a Trailside Park revitalization project to develop a picnic shelter, American with Disabilities Act accessible trail, restroom, parking lot and drinking fountain.

The city would commit $265,405 to the project.

Funding request

The council heard a request from Tim Moore, Lakes Area Food Shelf board chair and volunteer, to consider supporting the food shelf by giving $5,000 or any amount.

“In the last three years we’ve seen people frequenting our doors double,” Moore said. “Hunger has many facets to it, many barriers.”


He explained the community hub partnership with Crow Wing County Social Services to offer those services in Pequot Lakes for those who need them.

Mayor Tyler Gardner and council member Scott Pederson said they support the food shelf, but struggle with the concept of spending taxpayer dollars there.

Council consensus was to add this request to their budget discussions for 2024.

In other business March 6, the council:

  • Learned a top police officer candidate took another job so the department continues the process to hire another officer. Police had 251 calls for service in February. 

The council added a requirement to the take-home vehicle policy that such vehicles be housed and kept available for immediate emergency response.
And the council received a letter from a resident thanking police officer Derek Johnson for helping her after she locked her keys in her car.

  • Approved a special event permit for a splash pad grand opening from 4-7 p.m. May 25 with music, vendors, food trucks and a ribbon cutting.
  • Approved a Sunday liquor license for Barajas Mexican Bar and Grill.
  • Agreed to apply for an unmatched $600,000 grant from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development Small Cities Development Program for possible wastewater system improvements and to host a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, before the council’s regular meeting on the matter.

The council agreed to have Widseth engineering firm seek two other funding sources as well.

  • Accepted the resignation of public works employee Taylor Richardson effective March 20 and agreed to advertise to fill the position
  • Adopted an ordinance amendment regarding the utility disconnection process for nonpayment.

At last month’s regular meeting Feb. 6, the council held a closed session that lasted just over an hour regarding the performance of Pequot Lakes police officer Kate Petersen. No action was taken when the council reopened that meeting.
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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