Pequot Lakes: City seeks better broadband service, asks residents and businesses to complete online survey

Goal is to get people's thoughts and improve service through a larger coalition of area communities and locations.


Pequot Lakes area residents and business owners are being asked to complete an online survey about broadband internet service.

Mayor Tyler Gardner talked about the initiative through CTC at the Tuesday, April 6, Pequot Lakes City Council meeting. The initiative reaches out to Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point and Jenkins, as well as Ideal, Pelican and Jenkins townships.

The goal is to get residents’ and businesses’ thoughts about broadband service and whether the communities support better fiber optic broadband services. The belief is that the best approach to improve service is through a larger coalition of area communities and locations.

Gardner said the initiative is preliminary, and grant funding would be needed.

City Administrator Rich Spiczka said internet speed is becoming increasingly more important for telecommuters and homebuyers.


CTC has partnered with a coalition that would be interested in pursuing better broadband services if communities support that. The survey is the first step to determine the demand to improve connectivity in these areas.

The next step would be to estimate the cost to build a fiber optic network in the northern lakes area and to identify potential funding sources. Those sources could include state and federal grants, city and township financing, and funding by CTC or other entities.

The survey is available at:

In other business April 6, the council:

  • Amended the official zoning map to rezone a 10.77-acre tract of land consisting of 53 residential lots and three outlots from “transition residential” to “urban residential.” The property contains eight privately owned single-family dwellings and a city park, Trailside North Park, and is accessed via Isabelle Drive and Paul Circle.

  • Agreed to have council member Dan Ronning serve on the Patriot Avenue Redesign Committee with council member Scott Pederson. This visioning/brainstorming committee includes a variety of community members.

  • Learned firefighters Lillie Pearo (3.5 years) and Adam Casanova (eight months) resigned from the fire department.

Firefighters had eight calls in February, including mutual aid standby at the Pine River Fire Hall; a controlled burn reported in Poplar Township; assist at a personal injury accident, structure fire from thawing water pipes in wall, structure fire (house and garage), fire alarm canceled enroute and agency assist at a snowmobile accident (canceled), all in Pequot Lakes; and strong propane smell in Jenkins.

  • Approved $6,700 for Braun Intertec to do testing in relation to the Larsen Parkway project. Work has started on that project and it is on schedule. Larsen Parkway is a new road that will go south off Derksen Road into the Heart of the Good Life development, which is located between the Paul Bunyan Trail and the four-lane Highway 371 south of the city’s business park.

  • Heard from resident Jack Schmidt, who addressed the council regarding sewer and water availability fees. Discussion was held.

  • Agreed to write a letter of support for Community Action of Pequot Lakes to include in an application for a Five Wings Arts Council grant to paint a mural on the side of the Speedway building on West Lake Street.

Students would design the mural, and students and community members would paint it at no cost to the city.

  • Talked about establishing council bylaws, as proposed by Gardner, so those running meetings have a written guideline to keep meetings on task. Council consensus was not to have rigid rules. Spiczka will design a draft.

  • Met in closed session to discuss litigation from former employee Chad Turcotte related to his employment with the city, and to discuss developing or considering offers or counteroffers to buy property permanent easements on Rasmussen Road.

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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