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$1.795 million bond narrowly OK’d

The Brainerd City Council Monday narrowly passed a $1.795 million bond issue to help pay for its various 2011 street projects.

The projects in question were the reconstruction of the west frontage road on South Sixth Street, the reconstruction of South Seventh Street from Paul to Vine streets, resurfacing of Northwest Sixth Street from Charles to Washington streets, resurfacing Charles Street from Northwest Eighth to Northwest Third streets, reconstruction and sanitary sewer replacement of Southeast 19th Street, resurfacing of North Second Street from Washington to Ivy streets and South Alley Block 78 construction.

A first motion to go for a $1 million bond issue failed to pass by a 4 to 2 vote, with council members Bob Olson and Mary Koep voting in opposition. Council member Kevin Goedker wasn’t at Monday’s meeting. This proposal would have meant using $795,000 from the city’s construction funds for the projects and would reduce the overall tax levy on the bonds by about $922,000. The yearly levy would have been $54,000 instead of $147,000.

A second motion, an alternative proposal offered by council member Kelly Bevans for a $1.4 million bond issue, also failed to pass. The vote was tied, three to three, with council members Bevans, Dale Parks and Bonnie Cumberland voting yes and Olson, Lucy Nesheim and Koep opposed. Mayor James Wallin broke the tie by voting against the motion.

The third and final motion for a $1.795 million bond issue was tied three to three with the mayor breaking the tie by voting yes and passing the motion. Those also in favor included Nesheim, Parks and Cumberland. The same motion to issue $1.795 million in bonds failed by a 4 to 3 vote at the Oct. 17 city council meeting, with council members Olson, Koep, Goedker and Bevans voting against.

The council also rejected an amendment that would have changed the sidewalk ordinance. The ordinance would have allowed residents 24 hours, rather than 48 hours, to clear their sidewalks of snow and debris after a storm. The ordinance will remain at 48 hours.

JODIE TWEED may be reached at or 855-5858.