Equipment for the new Muskie Park playgrounds will soon be on its way to Nevis.

Parks commissioner Sue Gray said the grand total of money raised and pledged is just over $52,228 towards the $101,243 total cost that includes site preparation, surfacing and installation.

With the $25,000 in matching funds from the county, that leaves about $35,000 that needs to be raised by spring so the playground will be ready for use in the summer of 2020. Gray thanked the members of her playground committee. “I can’t believe how quickly this came together,” she said. “Thanks so much to everyone on the playground committee and in the community.”

This is the second successful playground fundraiser Gray has led.The first one resulted in a new playground at Halvorson Beach in Nevis last year.

Plans are for the handicap accessible playground to have access via the Heartland Trail as well as a handicap accessible parking spot nearby. That means access that was expected to cost thousands of dollars is now expected to be closer to $500.

Playground equipment that is being ordered will be stored in the hanger until it is installed in the spring. The goal is to have the playground ready for children to enjoy this summer.

In other business the council:

  • Discussed a “Come to Bethlehem” event that will be held at Muskie Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. The Church of Christ will sponsor the event, which will include a live nativity, refreshments, a bonfire for roasting marshmallows, caroling and other activities. There is no charge to attend. Anyone who has a donkey for the live Nativity should contact Dawn Veit at city hall.

  • Heard the city receive a grant of $7,830 to replace water tower controls in the well. The new controls will allow the city to adjust the water level in the tower seasonally so there is more water in the summer and less in winter. Maintenance on the lift stations has been completed and snow removal equipment is ready to go.

  • Approved a rental policy for the council chambers meeting room that includes an hourly rental for $10, a half-day rental for $25 and a full day rental (more than four hours) for $50. There is also an option to pay a yearly rental fee of $200. The policy includes a $50 refundable damage and security deposit for all rentals.

  • Heard from liquor store manager Kiley Weaver that staff from Widseth, Smith and Nolting have been working on measuring and putting together pictures of what the proposed liquor store remodel could look like.

  • Approved the purchase of a new multi-gas monitor at a cost of $920 that detects carbon monoxide and other gases for use in homes for the Nevis Fire Department. The current unit is approximately eight to 10 years old and will serve as a second unit as long as it continues to function.

  • Discussed looking into a program through the Red Cross for installing smoke alarms for residents who need this service.

  • Agreed to send a letter of support from the city of Nevis for the Heartland 200 USXC snowmobile race scheduled for Jan. 18-19 as requested by the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

  • Approved liquor license renewals as presented for Cindy Lou’s, Northwoods Grocery, Bullwinkles and the Iron Horse.