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Koep suggests special levy for more green space in Brainerd

More green space should be seen in the city of Brainerd. That’s Brainerd City Council President Mary Koep’s opinion anyway. Green space was a topic of the Aug. 20 council meeting with business owner Justin Imgrund’s request for a conditional use permit and a variance for less green space than required for the underdeveloped lot on Washington and Northwest Second streets.

Koep said that’s when she got thinking.

“I myself have a very sad time when we have businesses moving in and requesting variances for green space,” said Koep, noting the Tyrol Hills neighborhood that is currently against Imgrund’s request convinced her that some sort of action would be beneficial. “So I’ve been mulling it over since last Monday and thought the city should have some sort of green space program.

“There are some pockets in the city that would be perfect for green space.”

Koep sent a letter to council members, asking for consideration to discuss a possible special levy “to acquire and save green space within the city.”

Koep’s letter suggested an example of the phrasing for a dollar amount to be placed on the referendum but did not propose a specific dollar amount. She said that while she knows there are kinks to iron out, the issue will be placed on the Sept. 4 council agenda for further discussion.

“I know there are details that need to be worked out and we would have to look at negotiations,” said Koep. “But if they (council) approve, then I think we can move ahead and I think the people would approve.

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