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Brainerd City Council: Main Street Advisory Committee carries on

Northland Arboretum seeking support for grant that would be for an expansion of

With a little boost from the city of Brainerd Planning Department and Brainerd City Planner Mark Ostgarden, the Brainerd City Council opted to allow the planning department to continue with the Brainerd Main Street Advisory Committee (MSAC) on a transistion plan, with the approval from MSAC during Monday night’s regular council meeting.

“I know keeping this around sounds like deja vu from when it (MSAC) and asking for more time,“ Ostgarden said. “But really, the planning department feels that continuing with this in a transistion period is what would be best.”

Implemented three years ago to help improve downtown Brainerd and its business and community relationship, MSAC has seen it’s fair share of struggles in success.

During a May 3 MSAC meeting, it was moved and seconded that the program be moved to hiatus once the funding for the program — which had the last of the $14,000 used up as of the end of June — was no longer available. That was countered during the May 21 Brainerd City Council meeting, with the planning department requesting to assume, on a temporary basis, the responsibilities of the program.

Ostgarden said he is aware of the MSAC’s agreement with the city to no longer fund the program and assured council that no more money would be put into the program as of now, instead using the transition plan to include actions, benchmarks and outcomes to re-evaluate by June 2013.

Council member Bonnie Cumberland moved to support the planning department in taking over the MSAC through an identified transition plan, provided the MSAC is also in favor, with the motion passing 6-1. Council President Mary Koep opposed.

“Moving through, we can cite reasons why it hasn’t been successful,” Ostgarden said. “But it’s way too important to give up on.

“We need to keep trying and we just still can’t give up.”

In other business, Centerpoint Energy awarded a Community Partnership Grant check to the Brainerd Fire Department in the amount of $750 for a multi-gas atmosphere monitor.

Council unanimously approved giving a letter of support for a grant application from Northland Arboretum for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENTRF) Grant.

According to a letter from Arboretum Executive Director Dale Braddy, the grant would be for an expansion of the arboretum to the southeast shore of North Long Lake — an additional 1,110 acres to develop a trail system from the arb to North Long Lake.

Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek extended a public thank you to the community for helping raise $9,000 in the Fill the Boot fundraiser. Stunek said that in the fire department’s second year of raising money for Muscular Dystrophy, it has now raised nearly $19,000.

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

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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