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Brainerd City Administrator search contract extension with Springsted Inc. approved

While the search for Brainerd city administrator has currently been put on hold — approving Theresa Goble to remain as interim administrator during a Sept. 24 meeting — Brainerd City Council extended the contract of consulting agency Springsted Inc., to assist when the search resumes.

Council enlisted the aid of Sharon Klumpp, senior vice president of the St. Paul-based executive hiring consultant agency, Springsted Inc., when the administrator search began in July. Klumpp presented in a recent letter some expense options for council to extend their contract with Springsted:

Option 1: The cost of extending under option 1 would be $8,500, with a $6,900 fee and a $1,600 expenses. No position review and analysis is completed with this option, with the original job description used with minor tweaks.

Option 2: The cost of extending under option 2 would be $13,050 with a $10,500 fee and $2,550 expenses. A fee of $1,500 for position review and analysis is included and more money is spent on recruitment, candidate evaluation, interview services and employment negotiation.

Currently the city’s invoice on the project is $14,164, which includes $12,000 of the $13,450 professional fee and $2,164 for all out-of-pocket costs incurred during the project. Klumpp’s letter said that because the city wants to extend the contract, the company is holding back $1,450 of the original fee.

The personal and finance committee recommended council approve using option 1 in the extension with Springsted, which council approved 6-1, with council member Bob Olson voting no.

“I think it’s rushing a little bit,” said Olson. “I think we as a council should do our own searching for a new member of our staff and take some I am not supporting this motion.”

Council member and personal and finance committee chair, Bonnie Cumberland, said that Springsted Inc., was the best for this job when originally selected through interviews and added that Springsted will sit idle until needed by council to resume the search.

After acting as interim city administrator since former administrator Dan Vogt’s retirement in June, Goble officially continued duties beginning Oct. 1 and will remain in that position until council again begins the hunt for suitable candidates, tentatively set for spring 2013.

In other news: Discussion swirled around rezoning the corner of Northwest Second and Washington Street. Per city attorney Tom Fitzpatrick’s request in a memo to council president, Mary Koep, — Fitzpatrick was absent from Monday’s meeting — council members were asked to refrain from making a motion on the property.

The property, which was recently highlighted when Imgrund Motor’s requested a conditional use permit for the lot, is currently zoned as a B4. Residents of Tyrol Hills neighborhood would like to see the lot rezoned to B1 or B2. Council did take action to refer the issue to planning and zoning for further discussion on the matter.

Council heard from Tim Bray, Crow Wing County engineer, asking for feedback on how the county is doing on maintaining roads, especially with the winter weather season coming up.

“The good, the bad, the ugly, we want to hear it,” said Bray, who added he will be going to city meetings around the county to speak and answer questions from city officials and the public. “But if we don’t know it’s broken, we can’t fix it.”

Bray said citizens can visit www. for a survey to help the county better assess and prepare for road conditions accompanied with winter weather.

City engineer, Jeff Hulsether, reminded the public there is little time to take advantage of some of the city programs that are ending in October.

Hulsether said both the building permit rebate program — owners may show their building permit to qualify — and the landfill cash — with a $10 voucher in July and August Brainerd Public Utility bills to be used at the landfill — expire at the end of the month. Hulsether also added the College Drive project is still on track to near completion, with a ribbon cutting on the bridge deck still tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 26, with Central Lakes Community College hosting a coffee and cake social afterward.

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