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28th Street project moving forward for now

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A halted construction project for 28th Street is moving forward, at least for now.

At the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to request bids for the 28th Street reconstruction project. But city officials want it clear: they’ll only move forward with the project if Oak Lawn Township changes its mind and climbs on board.

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At issue is 28th Street, between Oak Street and Highway 25. The total project cost is estimated to be $419,000 with $147,000 assessed to property owners in Brainerd and $42,750 charged to Oak Lawn Township.

The project hit a snag last month when Oak Lawn Township supervisors stated they were opting out of paying for a street project on the jurisdictional line with Brainerd.

City Council member Gary Scheeler had the item brought forward Monday since the project hasn’t budged in the last month.

“We need to get this project moving,” he said.

City Council member Chip Borkenhagen agreed, noting that the city should move ahead with determining the exact scope of the project.

But to prevent the impression that the city will go ahead with or without the Oak Lawn Township being on board, the council voted to make the bids contingent on the partnership.

In other council news:

Agreed to approach owners of undeveloped land near Buffalo Hills Lane in regard to potential future development. The city first pursued a potential pavement project in 2003 and 2004, but those efforts dissolved when many obstacles were presented. The issue has since been brought up for discussion, but first the council will ask owners of undeveloped land in the area — a representative from the Mills family and Positive Realty — what, if any, information they could share on possible development of the land.

Should a property owner develop the land, it will bring in heavy trucks that could damage roads.

The council also voted to have staff research what policies surrounding communities have in regard to construction damage and impact fees, and look into what policies exist on collecting fees from developers should there be damage.

Voted to allow staff request quotes on replacing a sanitary sewer blockage on Holly and Grove streets, north Ninth to north 10th streets. There is an estimated $22,000 cost for the 1906-08 line. Funds will come from the Sanitary Sewer Fund. Staff will bring back quotes to the council for final approval.

Approved a quote of $17,966 from DeChantal Excavating for the 17th Street storm sewer repair and 15th Street southeast sanitary sewer repair. The issues developed for each project over winter, said City Engineer Jeff Hulsether.

Heard an update on property owner Terry Kinder, who the council gave one more week to finish a list of improvements for his property at 1420 Quince Street. Kinder was three days late on the deadline, so he received a citation for three days of violation at $100 per day. The next task is the final completion of the exterior portions of the project including siding, weather protection, removal of construction materials and debris from the yard, and yard restoration including leveling, black dirt and seed or sod.

Approved buying three vehicles for the Engineering, Building and Administrative departments. The total of the three cars — a 2014 Ford F-150, 2014 Jeep Compass, and a 2014 Chevrolet Impala — is $56,526, which is just under the budgeted $57,000.

Accepted the low bid of $9,725 from Arrow Management for maintenance to the downtown landscaping. The new bid does not include hanging plant baskets, which proved to be too costly.

Approved two street closures for 4th of July activities. The first was for the parade and the second is from the Eagles Club to close the north half of North Second Street between Laurel and Front streets for the annual dance, beer garden and corn feed. The Eagles’ request is contingent on not allowing beer outside of the designated area and pointing the amplifier face west.

Authorized hiring two summer interns for the Engineering Department at a rate of $10 an hour.

Heard that KLN Family Brands of Perham will include the Miracle League Field in its KLN for Kids Program. The program contributes 5 percent of KLN’s wholesale profits from the Brainerd area to help fund the Miracle League Field. KLN will send a check on a quarterly basis for the next five years. In addition to the program, KLN will donate $2,500 toward the field.

Heard that the National U.S. Tennis Association awarded a $9,000 grant for the reconstruction of the two Gregory Park tennis courts.

Adjourned to a 7:30 a.m. Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. Task Force meeting Wednesday and the Walk and Wheel Night March 15.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at jessie.perrine@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brainerdnews.

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