Pequot Lakes: Action taken to spur vacant lot development

City council agrees to waive water and sewer connection fees on vacant lots in a designated area for a certain period of time.

This community sign, about a mile south of the County State Aid Highway 11 exit, encourages northbound motorists to visit Pequot Lakes.
This community sign, about a mile south of the County State Aid Highway 11 exit, encourages northbound motorists to visit Pequot Lakes. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
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In an effort to spur residential development of vacant lots in the city, the Pequot Lakes City Council agreed to waive water and sewer connection fees on such lots in a designated area for a certain period of time.

The lots already have sewer and water infrastructure. Water and sewer availability charges - known as WAC and SAC fees - would be waived.

Mark Jurchen presented the idea on behalf of the city’s Economic Development Commission and Workforce Housing Task Force at the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2. He informed the council about the idea at a June council meeting.

The waiver would apply to single and multiple unit dwellings. It would take an estimated three years for the city to recover the waiver, and there would be an increase in water and sewer usage resulting in revenue for that dedicated fund.

The EDC proposed the program sunset in five years with a two-year requirement for the home to be completed from the time the waiver was granted.


Council member Cheri Seils was absent Nov. 2.

Public safety

A fire department memo outlined what the department has done to save its contracted areas money, including spending approximately $120,000 to receive approximately $550,000 worth of new vehicles. Before replacing two tankers, the average age of the department’s fleet was 20 years; it’s now 12 years.

The council agreed to buy a new tanker from Midwest Fire for $291,000 with an anticipated delivery date of June 2022. The city is using a $280,000 AFG grant to buy the truck and will have to spend approximately $23,000.

Firefighters had six calls in September, including two to Breezy Point, three to Pequot Lakes and one to Jenkins.

Police had 250 calls in September.

In other business Nov. 2, the council:

  • Adopted assessments for unpaid service charges for property owners with delinquent accounts.

  • Agreed to hire a part-time/on call as needed public works staff member to help with snow removal this winter.

  • Agreed to have Widseth engineering firm do a study on potential Coleman Drive improvements.

  • Accepted various changes to the 2022 preliminary budget that lower the preliminary general revenue tax levy submitted to Crow Wing County by $18,090, to $1,835,635.

  • Agreed to pay for repairs to the Sibley Lake Park shoreline from the Lake Improvement District and to have the Sibley Lake Association do the work.

  • Appointed Rick Moeller to the park commission through 2022.

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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