Weather Forecast


BRAINERD CITY COUNCIL:Banners no longer allowed on historic water tower

The Brainerd City Council on Monday unanimously approved a staff recommendation to discontinue allowing organizations to place banners on the city’s historic water tower at South Sixth and Washington streets. 

City Administrator Dan Vogt said instead groups will be welcome to use the Welcome to Downtown Brainerd sign at Laurel and South Sixth streets. The city also would work with Brainerd Community Action on messaging on the board there. 

The issue came up after Tony Sailer, Parks Director, offered concerns for city crews putting ribbons at the top of the tower. There also was a concern for the amount of time it took staff to place the ribbons. 

In other action, the council:

Authorized the closing of North Ninth and Juniper streets to North 10th and Juniper streets, North 10th and Kingwood streets to North Ninth and Kingwood streets, back to North Ninth and Juniper streets for St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School all-school marathon from noon-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. 

Accepted the resignation of paid on-call Battalion Chief Geoff Williams. 

Heard a presentation on the Brainerd Family YMCA from Randy Klinger, YMCA chief executive officer. Andy Thomas, a 99-year-old member of the YMCA, also addressed the council about the importance the facility has made in his life. 

Accepted an early retirement incentive program application from Bill Kronstedt, rental housing inspector. However, the council didn’t accept an early retirement incentive program application from Police Officer Ray McCollum because of a policy change exempting police officer and department heads. McCollum said he was being penalized by someone’s decision to not fill other vacant police officer positions at the police department. 

Was informed by Vogt that the city had settled the lawsuit filed by five fire department full-time fire equipment operators regarding pay while serving as paid on-call firefighters. Vogt said the fire equipment operators were awarded $33,500, which except for $1,000 was paid by the League of Minnesota Cities’ Insurance Trust.

Heard from resident Jeff Czeczok during the public forum. Czeczok said he was opposed to not decertifying tax increment financing districts for Lexington Manufacturing and Marsh Run town homes, thought the city’s town hall meeting wasn’t a proper use of city time and thought the city-wide neighborhood clean-up wasn’t a necessary use of city resources.  

Authorized having Koep fill in on either the Personnel and Finance Committee or the Safety and Public Works Committee when those committees lack a quorum. 

Authorized a conditional job offer to Tim Friis, a current Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputy who from 1999 to 2008 had served as a Brainerd Police officer. 

Approved $3,250 for an archeological survey at the proposed Rotary Park along the Mississippi River, as required by the DNR. 

Approved allowing the apartment above 123 Washington St. N.E. to be used as a rental unit provided the new owners comply with all rental regulations. The building formerly housed E Squared Cafe and the Magic Skillet. The new owner intends to operate a food service business at the location.

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at    or 855-5857.