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The Nisswa Elementary School gym has been filled to capacity lately, accommodating annual events like the Prairie Fire Children's Theatre production, Grandparents Day and fourth-grade graduation. The gym was full Thursday, May 23, for another celebration. This time the entire student body and all teachers and staff along with community members sat in the gym. On stage were the Brainerd School District superintendent, all school board members and other community representatives.
Nisswa recently hired Brittney Cotner as planning and zoning administrator, and she began working for the city Monday, May 13. Cotner, of Redwood Falls, graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato with a Bachelor's Degree in urban and regional studies. Comprehensive plan Nisswa has an updated comprehensive plan to guide the city's future development. The council adopted the comprehensive plan Wednesday, May 15, based upon the planning commission's recommendation.
For Kathy Saxvold, it's all about the kids. The 2019 Pequot Lakes Teacher of the Year knew from a young age she wanted to work with children. After growing up and graduating from high school in Lamberton in southwestern Minnesota, she chose to further her education at what was then called Brainerd Community College because the school had a child development program.
Dan Ronning walked into this month's Pequot Lakes City Council meeting believing he would walk out with approval to buy flags for a state flag display in Trailside Park. That didn't happen Tuesday, May 7. The council had directed the park commission - which Ronning chairs - to determine locations in Trailside Park for a state flag display (57-58 flags) and for a splash pad. The city received donations for both amenities in summer 2016 - $150,000 for a state flag display and $100,000 for a splash pad.
The Pequot Lakes Police Department is considering buying cameras officers wear to document contact between officers and citizens, or body worn cameras. Police Chief Eric Klang told the city council Tuesday, May 7, it must allow for public comment at a regular council meeting regarding body worn cameras, and then allow public comment and input when developing body worn camera policies. No one at the May 7 meeting commented on the idea. The department would buy a single unit for the newest squad car, and then would buy six more cameras in 2019 and 2020 using forfeiture funds.
"Totally surprised," was Bill Mattson's reaction after walking into the History Center at the Nisswa Pioneer Village only to learn he was the 2019 Nisswa Citizen of the Year. "I thought we were building a flower box at the (Pequot Lakes Baptist) church. She (wife Betty) said, 'No, swing in here.' I was totally surprised," said Mattson, longtime owner of Mattson Lumber, just south of Nisswa on Highway 371, across from Gull Lake's Hole-in-the-Day Bay.
Again this year, Lake Shore will provide city law enforcement services to Zorbaz on Gull on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and to the Gull Chain of Lakes Association to enforce aquatic invasive species laws at the Department of Natural Resources' public access. Both agreements cover all wages ($32 per hour) and costs to have an officer. The GCOLA agreement is for up to $12,000.
As part of the future reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 13 in Nisswa, the city will seek to buy additional right of way in front of Lutheran Church of the Cross for a possible multi-use trail along the roadway. Estimated cost is $89,484. That brings the city's total preliminary estimated cost for CSAH 13 improvements to $319,798. Nisswa City Council members want to continue discussions with the county regarding what the city should pay for improvements to a county road.
Pequot Lakes is offering three sites for a Region 5 Children's Museum to be built. The Region 5 board of directors is seeking a site along the Highways 210/371 corridor from Brainerd to Pequot Lakes for a permanent location for a hands-on children's museum. The board seeks proposals by May 3. The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, April 2, gave consensus to proceed with a proposal from the city offering the following three potential sites:
Longtime Pequot Lakes City Council member Jerry Akerson, re-elected in November, hasn't been sworn in or attended a council meeting yet this year for personal reasons. A three-member council took up the matter at its meeting Tuesday, April 2. City Administrator Nancy Malecha said Akerson hopes to be back for the June council meeting. Reached by phone, Akerson confirmed that hope.