Nisswa Council: Peterson hired as parks, recreation director

Amber Moon Peterson succeeds Matthew Hill, who left to become city administrator in Crosby.

Amber Moon Peterson, Nisswa parks and recreation director

Amber Moon Peterson, of Nisswa, was hired as the city’s parks and recreation director Wednesday, Sept. 16.

She will start Monday, Oct. 5, at a starting salary of $59,550.40 plus benefits.

Moon Peterson has a bachelor’s degree in recreation, parks and leisure services and has five years of experience as the general manager of the Hallett Center in Crosby.

She is a certified personal trainer and CPR/AED certified and is a current member of the Nisswa Park and Recreation Advisory Commission.

She succeeds Matthew Hill, who left the Nisswa position to become city administrator in Crosby.


Public safety

In his written report to the council, Police Chief Craig Taylor said that due to recent events across the state, his department is reviewing all internal policies and training practices to ensure they are providing fair and comprehensive law enforcement services to the community.

The council approved a new mandatory policy introduced by the Minnesota POST Board entitled “Eyewitness Identification Procedures.”

Several topics are addressed in this mandatory policy, such as report of alleged misconduct database, new in-service training requirements, police crisis intervention and mental illness crisis training, peer counseling, critical incident management, critical incident stress management, and new reporting requirements.

There will be more updates on this information later in the year when Taylor learns how this all will be implemented and how it will affect the department.

Taylor in his report thanked the public for its recent overwhelming demonstration of support of the Nisswa and area police departments.

The council authorized the police department to buy a 2021 Ford Interceptor squad car from Tenvoorde Ford for $35,494 plus upfit costs from DTM Fleet Service for $10,237.

Police in August had 260 calls for service. Activity included 122 traffic warnings, 24 traffic citations, one criminal citation, 46 agency assists and 25 emergency medical services calls.

Firefighters in August had 37 calls, including 31 emergency medical services calls, two car crashes and one each fire alarm, power lines down and gas leak.


In other business Sept. 16, the council:

  • Heard a presentation from Brian Farrell, Spirits of Nisswa municipal liquor store manager. Farrell said it’s been a busy, crazy season with the COVID-19 pandemic and sales have been very good, totaling $2,774,990 compared to $2,341,931 a year ago. He said his goal is for sales to be up 10% every year, and that has happened since he’s been manager for the past five years.

  • Learned a Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association/Nisswa Fire Department fundraiser at the Pickle Factory brought in $12,510, including a $10,000 personal donation and $2,510 raised during the silent auction and raffle.

  • Held a public hearing regarding sewer regulations and then adopted those regulations. The purpose is to regulate the use of public and private sewers and drains, private wastewater disposal, installation and connection of building sewers, and discharge of waters and wastes into the public sewer system; and providing penalties for violations. Mayor Fred Heidmann was opposed.

  • Adopted a fee schedule.

  • Approved an update to the city’s Data Practices Policy.

  • Accepted the annual performance review and step increase for City Administrator Jenny Max retroactive to Aug. 21. Her salary increases to $45.45 per hour.

  • Heard from Troy Scheffler during open forum, who spoke at length about a Sept. 4 special meeting where he said council member Gary Johnson made a comment about him after Scheffler spoke and left the meeting. Johnson apologized, saying he was out of line.

  • Heard from Bob Fier, who is running for a council seat in November, during open forum. Fier said the council took actions against the mayor at a special meeting Sept. 4 on less than vetted information. He said the council should make sure to get the whole story before holding a special meeting.

Nancy Vogt 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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