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Brainerd City Council: First street projects of year approved

At Tuesday’s Brainerd City Council meeting council members approved a resolution ordering the improvements and preparation of plans and specifications for three street projects. City officials will advertise for bids, returnable March 12.

A public hearing was held at the meeting Tuesday, where one property owner and developer spoke to the project on Old Stonebridge Court and Old Stonebridge Trail.

There were three street resurfacing projects approved:

• Willow Street between South Seventh and South 13th streets.

• 10th Avenue Northeast between highways 25 and 210.

• South Fifth Street between Laurel and Front streets.

A fourth part of the project was for street overlay on Old Stonebridge Court and Old Stonebridge Trail, which was postponed after property owner and developer Bill Goers of RJ Properties during the public hearing said work should be held off until more homes are built on the road. Goers said future construction could wear on the street overlay, causing it to deteriorate faster.

“(Waiting) will make it a nicer condition for longer,” he said.

City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said the project could be held for a year or two, but should not be forgotten about.

“It’s still in good shape now,” he said. “We just want to make sure it stays that way.”

City council members agreed.

The estimated total cost is about $400,000. Of that, about $140,000 is being assessed to property owners.

In other council news:

Approved an amended and restated recreational five-year lease with Wausau Paper Mills for $1 for a vacant parcel of land at the northwest corner of M Street and Mill Avenue, as well as a 3.07-acre parking lot at the corner of Q Street and Mill Avenue.

Approved a resolution for the Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) to participate in the city’s insurance and cafeteria plan.

For many years, the city has covered HRA employees’ benefits. Recently, an HRA attorney found an IRS regulation that requires the city cover HRA employees, as the HRA is a control group of Brainerd.

In order to continue this, City Administrator Theresa Goble said the city and HRA need to “clarify their relationship” and the Flexible Spending Account Plan needs to be amended.

Approved buying a satellite lifter for the Parks and Recreation Department at the cost of $12,074 from Perkins Manufacturing of Illinois. The satellite lifter has a three-year warranty. Staff received two quotes for the machinery, the other from Indiana’s Par-Kan Company for $12,000 and had a two-year warranty.

Approved a purchase order for a street sweeper for $182,176. City staff will get a trade-in value of $4,200 for its 1990 machine. That trade-in option doesn’t need to be exercised until delivery of the new machine, so staff will advertise the sale of the old machine, with the minimum bud of $4,200.

Approved buying a 2014 pickup truck to replace a truck in the Parks and Recreation Department for $27,828 from Mills Automotive. That’s under the $30,000 estimate made. If that truck is unavailable Wednesday morning, as the company is looking to get it from out-of-town, the department will move on to another bid.

Approved an agreement amendment in the amount of $5,000 in services from SEH in regard to the Buffalo Hills Trail improvement that happened last year. The additional funds will be covered through grant funding.

City Council member Mary Koep disagreed since there was no official in-writing approval of the work. The approval came from staff through email, but Koep said it should have come before council.

Approved the creation of the police administrative supervisor position, as determined as needed during a classification study. The position will oversee all computer data entry and access issues for the police department as well as handle sensitive documents, including internal investigations. The starting wage is $4,752 per month. Officials will post internally for the position.

Approved uploading city council meetings to a video streaming website so residents can watch the happenings online. City officials have tossed around the idea of live-streaming council meetings, but were not able to because the lack of the right equipment. Now the city has the capability. City staff will upload the videos to YouTube until Lakes Area Media Collaborative is positioned to do live streaming of the meetings.

Appointed Kevin Stumpf to the GreenStep City Ad Hoc Committee, and appointed Jessica Bleichner to the Walkable Bikeable Ad Hoc Committee.

A joint meeting about 28th Street reconstruction will be held with the Oak Lawn Township Board at 7p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

The annual MS4 hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 17.

JESSICA LARSEN, staff writer, may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at