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Josh Oswald is Nevis' new officer

Nevis experiences freezing pipes but pond system inhibits volume discharge; new officer introduced

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By Sarah Smith

Like just about every city in northern Minnesota, Nevis has been plagued with freezing pipes and water lines.

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But unlike most other cities, Nevis’ pond system can’t absorb faucets running constantly to alleviate the problem.

“I can’t have everybody in town running water,” public works operator Don Umthun told the city council Monday night. “We’re putting twice as much into our ponds and treatment system,” he said of the water running.

“We’ve got freezing zones like other towns,” Umthun said. “There’s no good advice I can give anyone.”

A deep freeze from below average temps, along with an extended winter, means the city will have to suffer like its neighbors, Park Rapids and Bemidji, until it thaws.

In other business:

n The city greeted its new police officer Josh Oswald. Jeff Stacey stepped down a year ago to help the Hubbard County Sheriff’s department with investigations, and rotating officers have been filling in shifts.

Most recently Dep. Bill Schlag filled in.

“I like this situation a lot better,” Mayor Paul Schroeder said.

Oswald was hired by the Sheriff’s Department in 2011 and initially served as a jailer. He’d been a road deputy the past two years.

“Are you going to fill out reports like this?” Schroeder asked, waving the month’s incident reports in the air.

“Yes and I’ll be at the City Council meetings, too,” Oswald promised.

The mayor beamed.

Stacey and Schlag have been providing the city with a day-by-day reporting of incidents for the past three years,

n The board tabled requests from several charities to fund them. It did award $400 to the AIS Task Force to fight invasive species, and $200 to Headwaters Animal Shelter. Those were previously budgeted items.

The extra requests, from the Akeley/Nevis Food Shelf, the Park Rapids Area Library, the Relay for Life cancer fund and the All Veterans Memorial, will be discussed during the 2015 budget talks.

“It’s a seven-to-one match,” council member Tom Frank said. For the $1,000 the Food Shelf requested, “they get $7,000 of food for that,” Frank added.

The Task Force, which operates on Lake Belle Taine, performed 1,208 watercraft inspections last year. The city is also seeking private contributions.

n The council learned that despite inclement weather, the Municipal Liquor Store had its best January and February in years.

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Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364
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