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Laurel Street resident criticizes snowplowing policy

Brainerd will look at its downtown snowplowing policy after receiving concerns from a downtown resident Monday night, Kent Johnson, who has lived on Laurel Street for eight years, told the Brainerd City Council that for years he has witnessed inconsistency with how residents are notified of downtown snowplowing. Sometimes the signage signaling snow plowing isn't put up until late at night, when residents are sleeping and unable to move their vehicles, Johnson said. He said there needs to be better advanced notification from the city. The issue, including Johnson's recommendations to remedy the problem, were referred to the Safety and Public Works Committee. In other action, the council: Was informed Tony Sailer will remain Interim Park Director through 2011 and that one parks department employee had completed cross training with the street department and another employee had started the training. Approved hiring Greg Amundsen, Matthew Cordes, Christopher Groenwold, Jonathan LeMieur and Troy Schilling as paid on-call firefighters subject to medical, background and psychological testing. Held a public hearing and adopted an ordinance amending the city's charter to state that property owners required to make sidewalk improvements will be assessed based on the actual benefit to the property with excess costs paid by the city. Voters approved the charter change in the Nov. 2 election. Previously property owners paid 100 percent for sidewalk reconstruction or repair. Heard from resident Jeff Czeczok during the public forum. Czeczok said for the past year or so there's been a problem relating to the slope of the boulevard in front of O'Neary's Pub on South Seventh Street that hasn't been addressed by the city or the consultants. The Safety and Public Works Committee will again address the issue. Was informed the public hearing on the 2011 city budget will be 7 p.m. Monday at Brainerd City Hall. MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.