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Brainerd City Council: Fall cleanup to use voucher system

Brainerd is taking a new approach to this year’s planned fall cleanup with the use of vouchers.

“The cleanup committee has met and came up with the goal to reduce junk from accumulating in resident’s yards, to reduce nuisance complaints and to give residents an opportunity to dispose of materials in a legal way,” said council member Bonnie Cumberland. “What we decided to take a look at to save some costs to the city is a voucher system mailed out to citizens.”

Council member Bob Olson, who is heading up the cleanup along with Cumberland, added that with the voucher system in place it will help costs tremendously.

The city hosted a cleanup last spring, but with such an overwhelming turnout of items left to be picked up, costs of recycling, dumping at the Crow Wing County landfill and city crew labor hours totaled $70,571 — an excess of $20,104 — had left the Brainerd City Council reluctant to spend funds on a second spring cleanup this year and instead looked ahead to the fall.

Council president Mary Koep added that the vouchers will go out in July and will be good for three months until Oct. 31, 2012, where the public can load up their truck for dumping and pay the charges and use the $10 voucher to help in doing so.

“I think the good thing about this will be to compare this with last year and try it and see what works best,” said Koep.

Council unanimously approved the use of a payment voucher system with the exception of council member Kevin Goedker, who was absent from Monday’s meeting.

City administrator Dan Vogt joked that the vouchers should be called “Koep Cash” or “Bob and Bonnie Bucks.”

In other business Brainerd City Planner Mark Ostgarden reminded citizen’s that the Brainerd Citizen’s Survey is still available to the public. The survey, which features five open-ended questions about the vision and future of the city of Brainerd is available electronically on the city website at with paper copies found at the Brainerd Public Library, senior center or city hall. Submissions can also be mailed in to the City Planning Department, 501 Laurel St., Brainerd, MN 56401.

Ostgarden said the survey will be available for several more weeks.

Brainerd City Council accepted with regret the resignation of Kim Ellingson, economic development authority, effective May 14,2012.

Council also put in a call for applicants for the following positions:

• Economic development authority, 1 position, with a term to expire Sept. 7, 2013.

• Cable TV Advisory Committee, 1 position, with a term to expire Dec. 31, 2012.

• Transportation Committee, 2 positions, with terms to both expire Dec. 31, 2012.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).