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Clean-up effort could cost more than thought

Brainerd residents took advantage of the city’s free, curbside pickup of unwanted items — so much so that the effort is taking longer than expected and could cost more than originally thought.

When city crews started their pick-up effort last week, it was quickly realized that the job would take more than one week, as originally scheduled. 

City Engineer Jeff Hulsether on Monday told the Brainerd City Council that crews from the building, fire, street and parks departments had finished picking up items in southeast Brainerd. On Tuesday, Hulsether said city crews finished west of Mill Avenue and south of H Street. On Wednesday and Thursday he said northeast Brainerd should be wrapped up, depending on the volume of material. 

At Monday’s Personnel and Finance Committee meeting, City Administrator Dan Vogt said city crews are picking up substantially more items than they thought, including numerous mattresses and tires. 

“It was wildly successful, I guess,” Vogt told the committee. 

While the costs weren’t yet known, Vogt said they would be higher than the city originally thought.  

Hulsether noted mattresses cost $11.70 each to dispose of at the Crow Wing County Landfill, television and computer monitors cost $5 each, furniture $5.85 and car tires without rims $1 each. 

Vogt also wanted residents to know to not take out any more items to the curb. He also said there’s been a concern with people from outside of the city dumping things on city curbs for pickup. 

Crews are also falling behind on their regular work, Vogt said. Though parks workers are getting ball fields ready, street workers have stopped street sweeping and are behind on striping efforts.