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Mathisrud appointed to Nevis City Council

The former Park Rapids city planner and administrator will serve out the final four months of Katie Rittgers's incomplete term.

Ryan Mathisrud
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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The Nevis City Council appointed Ryan Mathisrud on Monday, Aug. 8 to fill a vacancy on the council for the next four months.

The seat opens up on Aug. 31, when Katie Rittgers will step down from the council, and expires at the end of the year. The seat will be up for election in November.

Rittgers herself was appointed to fill the seat in January 2021 when then-council member Jeanne Thompson became mayor. Ritggers announced her resignation on July 11, explaining that her family is moving outside city limits.

A former Park Rapids city planner and city administrator, Mathisrud said he has lived in Nevis for the past year-and-a-half, serving as a member of the fire department. He also operates his own business, Heartland Lakes Property Service.

“I’ve always been interested in being a part of things,” he told the council. “I thought I could add some experience that I’ve had in working with local government.”


Council member Sue Gray made a motion to appoint Mathisrud to the council, and Rittgers second it. The motion passed without dissent, absent council member Teresa Leshovsky.

Miscellaneous business

In consent items and general business, the city council:

  • Approved a $4,498 quote from Up North Power & Sports for a 2021 Toro lawn mower ($3,599) and bagger ($899), contingent on the machine still being available. In case it is no longer there, the council authorized public works supervisor Don Umthun to spend up to $5,500 on a new mower. Umthun had also presented a $5,398 quote from Lakes Area Powersports for a 2022 Toro mower ($4,499) with the same bagger. 
  • Discussed 11-year-old resident Liam Gustafson’s ongoing fundraising for a skatepark. A letter from Liam’s mother, Heidi Gustafson, in the council’s packet said Liam hopes to raise $275,000 to build the park within four years. To support Liam’s efforts to promote the project, the council approved his proposed name of “Wild Tiger Skate Park.” Thompson also asked staff to invite the Gustafsons to share more details about the park’s design at the next council meeting.
  • Discussed having firefighters decorate a Molson Coors beer display at the municipal liquor store for the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association’s fourth annual fire department fundraiser. To enter a drawing for one of five $500 donations to local fire departments, liquor store staff will submit a photo of the firefighters’ display.
  • Heard Winter report that the Nevis Fire Department responded to a few medical calls and one fire during the past month. He said the department’s pancake breakfast the Sunday after Muskie Days raised over $1,000 in donations for their “sunshine fund,” to bring meals to the fire department’s often lengthy meetings.
  • Received a written report from Deputy Josh Oswald on police activity from July 7 to Aug. 3, including 1 accident, 1 alarm, 1 animal call, 3 arrests, 12 attempts to locate, 3 citations, 9 disturbance-disorderly calls, 1 domestic call, 1 medical call, 8 “other,” 2 property damage complaints, 8 public assists, 22 traffic stops and 3 business or facility checks. Oswald said he has discussed the city’s ATV regulations with people in the North Street neighborhood. 
  • Accepted $3,692 in donations from Bands and BBQ to the Nevis Fire Department to purchase operating supplies and equipment.
  • Approved financial reports for July, with general fund revenues totaling $175,342 and disbursements totaling $32,820, and liquor store receipts totaling $178,610 and expenses totaling $67,518.
  • Heard resident Sue Wilson ask that a 20 mph speed sign on North Street, that is bent over and partially hidden by a tree, be straightened out and the tree cut back so drivers can see it.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 at Nevis City Hall.

The group chose the Laporte coffee house and emergency shelter for a $4,400-plus donation in September.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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