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Wellness fitness trail gets Brainerd council support

Paved trails and 12 fitness stations could give those seeking to improve their health another option in the heart of Brainerd and Baxter.

Monday, the Brainerd City Council supported a grant application to the Department of Natural Resources for a local trail connections program. The application is to construct two miles of paved trails along with the fitness stations next to the Paul Bunyan State Trail.

The new trail would be called the Northland Arboretum Wellness Fitness Trail.

Efforts are in progress to secure $60,000 in on-state cash matching funds for the project.

“I feel this would be a great benefit to the community and would bring families and fitness together in an outdoor setting,” Wallin stated in a letter to the Arboretum. “... This will be a unique trail to the Brainerd lakes area and will be a draw for tourism and better health.”

Wallin stated with community organizations partnering together, there is an opportunity to make sure the trail gets the visibility it needs to be successful.

In other business, the city council:

Accepted with regret the resignation of Nathan Augustine, community service officer, and authorized hiring a replacement.

Approved accepted a Widseth Smith Nolting quote of $1,350 to perform bridge safety inspections in the city.

Approved the Zombie Crawl event permit. The permit included a plan for a street closure from 3 to 4:30 p.m., April 26, for the zombie parade in downtown Brainerd along Front, Laurel and Maple streets. The event is planned for the parking lot on Laurel Street between South Sixth Street and South Seventh Streets from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The event includes a scavenger hunt.

Tabled a discussion on downtown streetscape landscaping and maintenance until May. Downtown Brainerd property owners felt the new contract was too high and wanted some options to do things differently or to come back with proposals, said council member Mary Koep. Council member Kelly Bevans also asked for more information on the assessments.

Northwood’s Landscaping had the low quote of $22,886. In 2013, the landscaping and maintenance costs were about $13,700. The city reported the quotes were higher this year because an attempt was made to get better quality plantings and additional maintenance.

Pulled an item from the agenda. Jefferson Lines had requested temporary use of Front Street after Mickey’s Restaurant no longer wanted to be the bus stop. Jefferson Lines was seeking another business partner in Brainerd and no longer needed the temporary use as the new stop will be at the McDonald’s in northeast Brainerd. There are four scheduled routes through Brainerd to and from Bemidji and Minneapolis and to and from Duluth and Fargo, N.D.

Approved a change in commercial/industrial demolition permit fees. The city currently has a demolition fee of $35. An ordinance amendment came with the idea of a Wausau Paper Mill demolition.

City engineer Jeff Hulsether reported a relatively simple demolition may cost $25,000 with a permit fee of $413 plus a plan review if needed. For a complex demolition like the Wausau Paper Mill, estimated at $1 million demolition, a permit fee would be $5,957 with a plan review fee of $3,872.

Heard the Brainerd Fire Department responded to 32 emergency calls in March.

Learned staff is continuing to work with Widseth Smith Nolting, Hy-Tec Construction and Landscape Structures on the sponsorship arch and plaques and the Bonnie Cumberland Memorial Field sign for the Miracle League Field. Invitations will go out for a grand opening at 1 p.m. on May 31.

Received a $1,500 donation from the Brainerd Eagles Club to buy new flags to put up on Washington Street and South Sixth Street.

Received a $5,000 anonymous donation for maintenance at Mills Field.

Received a $1,000 donation from the Fly-By Disc Golf Club to install concrete tee pads in Lum Park. The city now had $2,000 in donations and the project may be completed this year.

Learned this past winter’s cold took a toll on the number of skaters who used the city’s ice rinks. This season, there were 5,265 skaters compared to the 12,670 skaters during the previous winter. The last day for the rinks was March 8.

Heard the Twins will offer a June 28 youth baseball clinic for children ages 6-9 and 10-16 at Bane Park. Youth baseball registration deadline is April 11. There is a youth baseball skills clinic on April 16.

Noted the annual Easter egg hunt is 10 a.m., April 19.

RENEE RICHARDSON 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.
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