Weather Forecast


Loot lurks in Crow Wing County mailing to residents

Don’t be too hasty to dismiss the Crow Wing County solid waste mailer hitting the mailbox, there is loot inside.

The $5 Landfill Loot coupons provide an incentive to recycle electronics or appliances and may cover the complete cost to dispose of an item. The mailing also includes information on the county’s landfill operation, recycling options from oil to mattresses to TVs, disposal costs, free yard waste and leaf collection, along with the household hazardous waste facility. The landfill is six miles east of Brainerd off Highway 210.

The county sent out more than 37,000 coupons. County officials report they typically get 10 percent back. In 2012, about 4,400 coupons were utilized. The cost of printing and mailing the coupon and information is $20,000. Doug Morris, solid waste coordinator, said the county saw an increase in items being disposed of at the landfill since the coupon program started. Administrator Tim Houle said it’s been effective keeping appliances out of ditches.

Commissioner Paul Thiede brought up Cass County’s option of a free disposal day or amnesty day instead of the coupon, asking if the Crow Wing County could do better using the neighboring county’s example.

Chris Pence, land services supervisor, pointed to the benefit of the educational part of the coupon mailing. Pence said a one-day amnesty event may not reach seasonal residents.

In other business, the board:

Voted to seek quotes to clean up a property in violation of the county’s solid waste ordinance. The property, on the 26000 block of Spruce Circle in Garrison, doesn’t have an accessible owner as, of the married couple, the husband is deceased and the wife is in a care facility in the Twin Cities. Taxes haven’t been paid on the property for three years and neighbors have complained of debris, garbage and rodents. The cost of the cleanup will be covered by the county’s solid waste funds with an assessment attached to the property.

Approved a resolution to revoke existing segments of County Highway 18 in Nisswa and establish a new segment of the highway as a county state aid highway (CSAH). Existing segments of Highway 18, which includes Main Street, will be revoked to the city when a new Highway 371 and CSAH 18 intersection is operational. The new intersection is expected to be completed this summer.

Approved travel for a public health preparedness nurse to attend a conference in Atlanta. Travel and expenses are paid for up to $2,500, by the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control, to help counties that might not otherwise be able to afford the trip. The county will continue to pay wages for the nurse, but won’t have to pay for the trip or conference. The emphasis on the workshop is a public health incident and working with community partners at a time of reduced resources. Commissioner Paul Koering questioned if this trip was a requirement. Gwen Anderson, division manager, said the trip represented an opportunity for the county, which has submitted an application for this grant in the past and this year finally received it. Thiede made a motion to approve, saying he was in favor of the education. After a pause, Koering seconded.

Set the date for the county board of appeals and equalization at 2 p.m. June 17.

Anticipates an agenda item at the next board meeting to consider whether the county auditor-treasurer and recorder positions should continue to be elected or should become appointed. With the legislative session ongoing, Thiede said if the board was going to pursue this change it should act soon. Koering said such an important issue should wait until the full board was back. Commissioners Rachel Reabe Nystrom and Doug Houge were absent Tuesday.

Met in closed session for labor negotiations.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
(218) 855-5852