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Pequot Lakes: Splash pad gets council’s blessing, but with no levied funds

Resident-led fundraising effort to get underway

Echo Journal file photo.
Echo Journal file photo.

Five years after receiving an anonymous donation to build a splash pad in Trailside Park, the Pequot Lakes City Council gave the project the go-ahead with one caveat - the amenity is to be built without using any city levied property tax funds.

Council member Scott Pederson’s idea to construct a splash pad in spring 2022 with non-levied funds won approval on a 4-0 vote at the regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2. Council member Cheri Seils was absent.

“We have people interested in fundraising. We have approximately $70,000 left over from a major donation,” Pederson said, adding city park dedication fees are another possible funding source.

Pederson said the 2022 timeline can be extended if volunteers need more time to raise funds. Or if fundraising efforts fail, the splash pad wouldn’t be built because city property taxes will not be used to fund it.

A visibly relieved and passionate Jenni Gonczy told the council she is more than ready to begin the fundraising effort with help from Community Action of Pequot Lakes, which has the needed nonprofit status.

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In 2016, the city received anonymous donations of $100,000 toward a splash pad and $150,000 toward a flag display. The flags were eventually erected along Main Street. Some splash pad funds were used for a study, with $69,413 remaining.

The park commission has done a lot of splash pad research over those years. It has been an issue of concern for some people, and candidates for the council in 2020 were asked their thoughts about a splash pad at a candidate forum.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

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 nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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