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Brainerd City Council: Mobile food committee drafts options

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The Mobile Food Unit Committee drafted five options to help solve the problems surrounding the new business concept.

Discussion of the mobile food truck arose after Prairie Bay restaurant earlier this year bought a truck and started serving customers around town.

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Some restaurant owners grew worried about the possible loss of business.

A meeting was held last Friday between Baxter and Brainerd city officials, along with local restaurant owners. Officials drafted options, which were presented by Council Chairwoman Bonnie Cumberland, in regards to mobile food trucks.

The options are:

• Stay with current ordinance to only allow catering trucks.

• Define zones with different restrictions.

• Treat the downtown core as a separate entity and not allow the mobile operations.

• Allow them downtown, but with some restrictions.

• Allow them outside downtown in areas like parks and industrial parks.

Council member Kelly Bevans said he liked having the options and thought more discussion should take place in the committee.

Other council members agreed. Members voted to have the committee meet again and more formally put options on paper and bring it back to the council for discussion.

In other city council news:

Another $10,000 in grant funds was requested for additional work that came up throughout the process of mapping out the Buffalo Hills Trail, a multi-use recreational trail from the intersection of the Spur Trail and CR 117 to Kiwanis Park.

Cost for the trail, which will be about two miles long and 10 feet wide, is $575,000, which will be covered by grants.

The additional work includes: mapping and calculations for wetlands, additional survey work and designing an observation deck out of an old concrete structure off the trail.

City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said officials would like to advertise for bids to get in April and start holding pre-construction meetings in May.

The council approved the design of Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and Buffalo Hills Trail sign designs. The cost for the three signs will be covered by the Brainerd Jaycees. Placement of the signs will be determined later.

The council approved a conditional use permit for the expansion of the parking lot at Pine and 9th streets south, of the Brainerd School District Washington building. The lot currently holds 59 spaces and will be expanded to 97. The growth is to accommodate another 48 employees that will be relocated in the Washington building. Most of the new staff will be employees from the Paul Bunyan Coop, among other school groups.

Park maintenance union members will receive a one-year 2 percent wage increase as of January 2013, the council approved.

After eight years of service, 2 percent of hourly wage; 12 years of service, 3 percent; 16 years of service, 4 percent; 20 years of service, 5 percent.

The council heard the first reading of a proposed lawful charitable gambling ordinance amendment. The amendment would require at least 85 percent of the net profits from the gambling be used annually for charitable purposed directly benefiting residents of the city of Brainerd. Discussion will happen at the next council meeting.

JESSICA LARSEN may be reached at jessica.larsen@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brainerdnews.

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