New Nevis playground moving foward

Children in Nevis will have new playground equipment at Muskie Park this summer. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground)

Although it is not known when children will be able to once again enjoy playgrounds with their friends, the city of Nevis is moving forward with getting new equipment installed at Muskie Park so the new playground will be ready.

“We couldn’t have done it without the community,” Parks Commissioner Sue Gray said in an interview. “We’re grateful they stepped forward and we will have another beautiful playground for the children and visitors to the community. I think we’re up to $94,000 or thereabouts. That includes money the city puts aside every year and $10,000 from the Nevis C&C. By the time we get everything done, the whole project cost will be around $100,000. That is for the two side by side playgrounds, one for children ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12. Both are handicapped accessible. We had to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and have everything approved by the Department of Natural Resources because that’s leased land.”

Fundraising began in March 2019. “We’re not quite fully funded yet,” she said. “We still have to pay for concrete and a sign to thank our donors.”

Donations to help finish the project may be sent to the Lions at P.O. Box 74, Nevis, MN 56467.

Gray said her granddaughters, Iris and Violet, helped select the equipment they thought would be most fun. The playground equipment is being stored in the city hanger.


City employees have been working on removing the existing playground from Muskie Park to make room for the new equipment.

She said extensive site preparation needs to be done before the equipment can be installed. “We should be up and ready sometime this summer,” she said.

At their April 13 meeting, the Nevis City Council approved the contribution of funds to cover the remaining installation costs. Gray was asked if the city planned on selling the old existing playground, but she said the equipment is damaged and replacement parts are not available.

Dave Schotsko from the DNR has approved the final playground project. The plan has changed so there will be steps in the middle. The final plan will have no access from the trail, but will come off of Main Street with a short sidewalk and ramp.

The city asked for three quotes for site preparation, but only received one and that was from Flying W Gardens. Their quote was $20,226.

Expenses to date, besides Flying W, include $17,898 installation from Game Time, $5,644 from Engineered Wood Fibers (with a possible reduction in price) for a total cost of $43,769. There is $43,130 in the playground account, leaving the need for an additional $639 to proceed.

The council unanimously approved using money from the City Council Technology Fund to pay the remaining balance of the parks project by covering the shortfall and also paying engineering fees of $1,200.

“When we made our budget in July, we added in $3,000 to purchase new tablets for the council members,” Gray said. “But nobody wants them. I was happy when the mayor suggested using that money for the shortfall.”


In other business, the council:

  • Heard the local Board of Appeal and Equalization has been changed to a written format. All appeals must be in writing and received by 4:30 p.m. June 15. Send appeals to Hubbard County Assessor’s Office, 301 Court Avenue, Park Rapids, MN 56470, or sign up at

  • Approved using mail-in ballots for both the primary and general elections for 2020.

  • Reminded residents the new water and sewer rates will be applied on the April billing. This information has been published in the city newsletter and on the back utility bills to prepare residents for the upcoming change. Hydrant flushing is coming up. Dates will be published in the Northwoods Press.

  • Heard the city is moving forward with preparations the liquor store will need in place for Muskie Days. The city will be checking with Widseth, Smith and Nolting to find out the status of the liquor store remodeling plans and that progress is being made on the point-of-sale system at the liquor store.

  • Approved an ordinance establishing a planning and zoning commission.

  • Approved a resolution authorizing sponsorship of trails operated by the Nevis Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club.

  • Unanimously declined to waive statutory tort limits for the city’s liability coverage with the League of Minnesota Cities

The council enacted a resolution extending the period of the mayor’s local emergency declaration. Until further notice, or until the State of Minnesota determines it is no longer in a state of emergency, all meetings of the council will be conducted by telephone or other electronic means. The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, May 11.

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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