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BRAINERD CITY COUNCIL Tie a ribbon on the old water tower?

The city has on occasion allowed groups promoting a cause to place giant ribbons on the city’s historic water tower. 

But should the city allow the ribbon practice for any group that seeks it?

That’s the question tackled Monday by the Brainerd City Council. 

City Administrator Dan Vogt noted a purple banner placed on top of the tower recently took three hours of city staff time to put up and would take three hours of staff time to bring down. 

The question, Vogt said, is whether the practice would open the floodgates to such requests. 

Mayor James Wallin said for as few times as the city has received requests from groups to put a banner on the water tower he didn’t see a problem. The city could decide on each request on a case-by-case basis, Wallin said. 

Council President Mary Koep responded by saying that in allowing the practice the potential is there for repetitious requests. She also said that having ribbon after ribbon placed on the water tower could result in the message losing its impact.

Cumberland said it would be hard for the city to pick one cause and not another. She said the city could look at the possibility of a fee for groups hoping to place a ribbon on the tower. 

Parks Director Tony Sailer said his concern was the danger for city crews putting up the ribbon. Sailer noted that for 90 percent of the tower there’s a ledge to walk on but for 10-15 feet there is nowhere to stand. 

“It’s a very dangerous situation for someone tying the ribbon on,” Sailer said. 

At Koep’s suggestion, city department heads will discuss the issue and whether it is feasible for staffers to be putting up the ribbons. 

“You know how busy you are,” Koep said. 

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.