New water meters in Nevis cost $94K

On Tuesday, April 11, the Nevis City Council accepted the bid from DSG for the new water meters.

Enterprise file photo

Water meters featuring the latest technology will be up in Nevis by fall.

On Tuesday, April 11, the city council accepted the bid from DSG for the new water meters. The total cost of $94,135 includes installation.

Public Works Supervisor Don Umthun said some of the oldest existing water meters date back to 1981, while others have been replaced over the years, but do not have the features that newer technology offers.

Umthun said this project has been discussed for five years and is a high priority.

Meters will be able to be read with a hand-held meter by driving by the residence, in most cases, which will make the process faster and eliminate for the most part trudging through deep snow to get to the meters to read them.


He said the life expectancy of the new system is expected to be 20 years and the switchover would probably be completed by sometime this fall. Umthun said the city water ordinance may need to be changed also with information about the new meters.

In other business, the council:

  • Declined participating in the Muskie Membership Incentive Card, as requested by Tim O'Neil of the Lake Belle Taine Association. The card offers a 5-10% discount at each visit to participating businesses. Council members discussed if this type of discount would be allowed by law since it is a municipal liquor store and will research the issue of what type of discounts are allowed in a city owned business.
  • Approved renewing the annual contract for the Nevis Trailblazers Snowmobile Club for grooming along with a landowner permit for the groomer to cross city land, as requested by Karl Dierkhising. The city will also continue to be the legal sponsor and fiscal agent for the snowmobile club.
  • Heard from Umthun that a safety issue at Main and West Avenue because of vehicles parking on the street will be addressed by placing “no parking” signs there. Residents in that neighborhood will no longer be able to park on the street, but will need to park on their driveway or property.
  • Heard from Umthun that the city brush pile is closed until further notice and will be opened once the area is dry.
  • Heard from council member Sue Gray that a controlled burn is planned along the pollinator highway on Heartland trail sometime this year. “We’re waiting to hear from the DNR,” she said. Gray said once the controlled burn is complete the area will be re- seeded. The previous plantings there were not successful in being established due to the drought.
  • Discussed the option of adding a shop onto the fire hall. Information from the building inspector and OSHA will need to be obtained before bringing a proposal to the city planning and zoning board, along with a specific plan with detailed information about what is proposed. 
  • Approved a resolution for a joint powers agreement between Nevis and the state of Minnesota and its agencies, as presented by city attorney Jonathan Frieden. The joint powers agreement between city and state provides an avenue for the enforcement of criminal law so sheriff’s deputy Josh Oswald can charge cases. A resolution approving this joint powers agreement is done every five years. 
  • Distributed packets of information for council members to review regarding internal controls and looking as a team at finances. Mayor Jeanne Thompson will put together a plan to move forward with having a review by a committee or council to look at how to proceed for discussion on these matters.

The next Nevis City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 8 at city hall and live streamed on YouTube at . The agenda and packet of information is available at under “City of Nevis, then “City Officials” and “City Council Agenda and Minutes.” The live stream may also be watched after the meeting.


Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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