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BRAINERD CITY COUNCIL: City worker honored for saving girl from river

A Brainerd employee was honored Monday for his efforts in rescuing a girl from the Mississippi River in downtown Brainerd. 

Joe Adams, who works in the city’s street department, on June 27 went into the river after the girl had jumped from a bridge. 

At Monday’s Brainerd City Council meeting Mayor James Wallin presented a plaque to Adams and commended him for his heroic efforts. Adams received a standing ovation from the council, staff and audience members. 

“There aren’t too many people I know that have saved someone’s life,” Wallin remarked. 

Council President Mary Koep said there’s a special joy in pointing out the good things in the community and the citizens who step up when challenged.

In other action, the council:

Adopted an ordinance prohibiting non-city residents from placing items on the curb during city-wide clean-up efforts. 

Was given an explanation by resident Jeff Czeczok on the Americans with Disabilities Act’s effective communications policy. During the public forum portion of Monday’s agenda, Czeczok also asked the council to look at positions needed and not needed during their budget discussions.

Appointed a committee of council members Bob Olson, Bonnie Cumberland and Dale Parks to work with resident Carl Faust regarding awareness of Brainerd’s history. 

Approved a committee of staff and council members to look at how the city can collect $17,600 in unpaid parking tickets over the past four years. The council also directed Finance Director Theresa Goble to research options for hiring a collection agency. 

Exempted police officers and department heads from applying for the early retirement program.

Met in a closed session regarding union negotiations and the College Drive lawsuit filed by the owners of the Colonywood Apartment complex. 

Was informed by City Administrator Dan Vogt that a mediation session was held regarding a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed by the fire department’s full-time fire equipment operators. The issue, Vogt said, is how the full-time fire equipment operators are paid when they respond to a fire call as paid on-call firefighters. 

“The goal here is to try to get ourselves set for the future on how we handle payment,” Vogt said. Any costs for the city would be covered by the League of Minnesota Insurance Trust.

Directed staff to review fence permit review procedures. 

Directed staff to conduct a feasibility study on 2012 capital improvements. 

Set an assessment hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 for 2011 improvements and downtown improvements. 

Approved by a 5-1 vote a new storm sewer for the alley behind the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center at a cost of $26,535. Council member Kelly Bevans voted against, saying the city has never paid for a new storm sewer for a property owner. 

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.