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Nisswa: Employee files grievance against council member

City attorney Steve Qualley told the Nisswa City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 21, that the city had received a grievance, and he recommended one of the council's two liaisons meet with the employee and party involved as a first step to resolve the...

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City attorney Steve Qualley told the Nisswa City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 21, that the city had received a grievance, and he recommended one of the council's two liaisons meet with the employee and party involved as a first step to resolve the grievance.

Qualley later said by email that Tom Blomer, public works director, filed a grievance and it involves council member Fred Heidmann. Council members Gary Johnson and Ross Krautkremer are liaisons to the public works department.

Only the existence and status of the grievance is considered public; no further information was available because this is private personnel data.

Public safety

The council learned police officer Bren Smith resigned to work with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department.

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Police chief Craig Taylor said Smith, who worked for the city for about a year, is a great officer who will do well with the county. "We'll miss him," Taylor said.

The department has applications and hopes to conduct interviews for another officer the first week in October and make a conditional job offer before the next council meeting.

The fire department had 31 calls in the last month, with most being medical calls. The department raised $1,600 at the Sept. 17 pancake breakfast fundraiser.

The fire department will host an annual open house from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11. Firefighters will conduct fire safety exercises Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Nisswa Elementary School. And the department's annual haunted barn fundraiser will be Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Zimmerman farm.

In other business Sept. 21, the council:

• Allowed Terry Wallin, Pickle Factory manager, and other employees if they wish to donate sick time to a part-time employee who had surgery to help that employee financially.

• Authorized the Park and Recreation Department to spend $3,614 for playground improvements at the city park (more surface material and a new Locomotive Rock N Ride), and to buy a new lawn tractor for $11,812.

The department will receive a $5,000 donation from the Nisswa American Legion and $2,500 donation from the Nisswa Lions, and the remaining $4,312 for the lawn tractor will come from the Pickle Factory fund.

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• Accepted a proposal to help update the city's comprehensive plan from the National Joint Powers Alliance in Staples at a cost not to exceed $8,000.

• Learned the Planning Commission had four public hearings in September, where two variance applications were approved and another was tabled. The city has issued 54 land use permits so far this year, which is up from 39 permits issued by this time last year.

• Agreed to pay off the liquor revenue bond early for the Pickle Factory. Total payment is $159,849.

Related Topics: NISSWANISSWA CITY COUNCIL
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