Town Lake Beach ready for bids, East Main construction to begin soon

The new community building at Town Lake Beach is one of many projects in Frazee that have benefited from accepted grant proposals totaling over $1 million in 2024 and $3 million received in the past three years.

By Robert Williams


Economic Development Consultant Karen Pifher called the past 30 days a banner month for Frazee noting seven new business/services opening this month plus the ones that opened last month.

Below: Karen Pifher and her company, Creating Community Consulting LLC, have successfully brought $1 million in grant funds to the Frazee Community this year working for the Economic Development Authority.

“We’ve got lots of people looking for store fronts in the community so we’re trying to make some recommendations from the Economic Development Authority (EDA),” Pifher said. “We’re going to need more room on Main Street the next few years here.”

Pifher also has received two more community requests for grant writing. Pifher and her company Creating Community Consulting (CCC) have produced positive results with grants and were recently approved for the biggest yet, a $660,000 grant to create trails in Wannigan Regional Park, along with a previous grant of $220,000 to connect the park to County Road 29.

A gap analysis will also be funded for a future Family Resource Center in town. Another grant is being written to hopefully staff the center to potentially be open later this fall or winter.

More funding efforts are being made to support CornerStone with a community-wide volunteer recruitment grant.

“Just this year, we’ve gotten over $1 million coming to the community, so it’s been a great year, so far,” said Pifher.

Having procured $3 million in grants over the past three years, Pifher has begun conversations about a city grant policy to determine which non-profit or fiscal host fits best for the particular funding opportunity. 

A benefit for the city would be that all of the grants, whether they are letters of intent or applications, have to be approved by the city council prior to application. It also avoids people writing two different grants for the same or similar opportunity, or from the same funding source.

“We don’t want to be competing; we think it would be helpful to have a policy in place that we have a process that all of them need to be approved prior to application,” she said.  

“I think that would be a real benefit to the city,” council member Andrea Froeber said.

Mayor Mark Flemmer noted the fire department has its own grant writer and is in the process of writing grant proposals. 

“Because we have so many different entities and different people writing grants,” Poegel said. “A policy…makes it easy for everyone to know what’s going on.”

The council agreed to discuss at a draft policy for grant writing at the next meeting.

Town Lake Beach

The council approved a resolution to seek bids for construction of the new community building and bathrooms to be built at Town Lake Beach later this year. One caveat of the resolution is a final approval by Public Works Supervisor Larry Stephenson on the building’s drainage system prior to the project going out for bids.

The city has multiple revenue streams that can be used to pay for the project, including the sale of Eagle Lake Park, which equates to $190,000, along with a $250,000 grant the city received by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources back in June 2021.

Plans for funding the remainder of the project would be via municipal bonding.

Downtown Park

The council approved the Parks & Recreation proposal that the Frazee Community Club take over fundraising and design efforts for the art or the proposed mural at the downtown park. 

East Main 

An East Main Project pre-construction meeting has been set for Friday, May 31. According to City Engineer Chris Thorson, the contractor has suggested a project start date of Monday, June 10.

Public Works

According to a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) report of 20 collected samples, results showed the water system exceeds the copper action level of 1300µg/L (micrograms per liter).

Systems that have exceeded the level are required to optimize its corrosion control treatment and submit a plan to the MDH for approval, along with another 20 samples during the July-December monitoring period.

Fire Department

Membership: 22 – Total Firefighters; 2 – Probationary Firefighters

Calls For Service: May Fire Calls – 11; Year to Date – 38 total calls 

May Mutual Aid Calls: 5 – Wildland Fires; 1 – MA DL (Structure Fire);  4 – Motor Vehicle Accidents (1 w/Life Flight); 1 – MA Vergas (Grass Fire); 1 – CO Alarm & Present; 1 – Structure Fire.

Police Department

Provide code violations of property by quantity and status: Complaint of pickup and couches in  front yard. Items moved after the officer talked with the homeowner.

Provide code violations of vehicles by quantity and status: 9 vehicles listed as needing attention whether inoperable or expired registration.

Report of any vehicle accidents in Frazee: 1 motor vehicle crash.

Report landlord violations and status: Zero landlord violations

Upcoming events for the next month… Officers will continue the city-wide sweep of potential  ordinance violations. Personal contact and/or letters will be sent to violators. Fines may be issued to repeat violators on the first contact this spring using the newly adopted city administrative fines.


New Frazee Rescue President Matt Johnson made his first appearance before council since being elected last week.

“Our big goals going forward after an annual meeting are to try to look over our stuff, see how we can improve, see what we can do to attract new members too,” Johnson said. “Being a completely volunteer organization, really your only incentive to be on the rescue squad is to want to help somebody. By all means, we don’t make a thousand calls but the calls that we make the people are very thankful that we’re there. My goal is to go and make sure our members have everything we can give them for resources and get new members on board and build that squad up and serve the community more.”

Frazee Rescue had 22 calls with 11 in the city of Frazee for the month of April.

Wellhead Protection Plan

Aaron Meyer, a Source Water Protection Specialist of the Minnesota Rural Water Association, discussed amending the city’s Wellhead Protection Plan during a public hearing.

Meyer provided a two-part plan delineating and vulnerability assessment that were determined in a hydrogeologic assessment of the drinking water source and wells for the City of Frazee

“This will tell the city where your water is coming from the next 10 years and your vulnerability,” Meyer said. “The good news is you have a lot of heavy soils, nice tilled clay. It takes a water molecule probably about a century to get from the land surface down to your wells.”

Frazee has a low vulnerability and good water quality, according to Meyer, and a good plan that has a full grant-eligibility each spring and fall.

The plan will be sent to the MDH and other state agencies for approval.