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Wausau Paper presents aerial photographs to Brainerd

Wausau Paper presented the city of Brainerd with four framed aerial photographs of the mill.

The photographs show a progression of the mill in northeast Brainerd from its days as the Northwest Paper Co. to Potlatch and then Wausau Paper.

Shawn O’Brien, acting vice president at Wausau paper, presented the photos to the council Monday.

The photographs will be going up in city hall so people will be able to see them. O’Brien said the paper mill brought a lot of history to the city along with jobs and community leaders. The photographs show a visual progression of the mill.

In other business, the council:

Heard a business showcase from Mayor James Wallin on his J&M Printing business. Wallin started in the printing business 52 years ago and worked as a pressman and night foreman. He said he traveled all over the U.S. selling off-set printing services and had more than $1 million in sales in 1976. In 2001 he became half owner of Lakes Area Mailing and after three years decided to be the owner of his own company. At J&M Printing, Wallin said he is president, CEO and one-half owner for the past 10 years. Range Printing, he said, allows him to have an office in their building and Range does a majority of the printing and all the mailing for Wallin’s customers. He brought a Canoe Wild Rice can, Mille Lacs Wild Rice Corp. Aitkin, for his show-and-tell reporting printing more than 200,000 labels for the product last August and getting an order for another 200,000 labels.

Noted Pine Street property owner Chad Ross, who was slowly cleaning up his yard, which was considered an “illegal flea market” during recent jail release time, has one last chance to appeal an order to abate. The city code gives Ross a chance to appeal at its next council meeting.

Approved the 2015 fire contract calculation, which is the same as previous years, and 2014 fire protection agreement noting specifically the plan for a more robust advisory board. The board meets at 4 p.m. April 30 at the Crow Wing County Land Services building. Brainerd used a budget of $1,188,772 for the assessment calculation.

The fire department budget was reduced by 3 percent but East Gull Lake and Fort Ripley Township are not included for fire protection contracts in 2015 so the city reported their shares were reallocated. The city noted it is still waiting on word about a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

Approved pay rates for seasonal positions with parks and recreation. Rates included $21 per game for adult softball umpires, $25 an hour for an American Sign Language interpreter, $20 a game for a broomball and pond hockey referee, $12 a game for scorekeeper/announcer, $18 a game for youth softball umpires, $7.25 to $11 per hour for a number of positions from rink attendants to maintenance and concessions (later noting this will need to be adjusted per the state’s vote on the minimum wage.)

Reached a settlement with the Teamster Union for the police supervisors for the 2012-2014 contract with a 1.95 percent increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014 meaning the captain makes $36.38 per hour and the police sergeant makes $31.75 per hour.

Received a resignation of an engineering technician Ronald Brekke noting his assistance in computer-assisted design and drafting but also noted disappointment in getting four days notice.

Received a list of 2014 goals from Council President Dale Parks, who asked his fellow council members to provide priority rankings for the list.

The list included cutting back costs and seeking additional logical revenue streams, continued work on the strategic plan, discussion with residents through neighborhood meetings and Council member Chip Borkenhagen’s monthly sessions at The Center, analysis of the fire service contract, research to remedy traffic for better safety on Willow Street, possible implementation of utility franchise fees in conjunction with Baxter, seeking ways to fill up vacant commercial properties around the city, updating emergency preparedness plans and equipment, sprucing up the appearance along Washington Street.

Adjourned to the noon May 5 Good Samaritan Bowl XI, which has a number of teams that are recognizing the late Bonnie Cumberland at the fundraising event at Jack’s House in Brainerd.

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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