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The city’s Finance Department and financial adviser recommended borrowing $1,795,000 for 2011 street improvements.

My financial analysis of the construction fund only requires borrowing $1,000,000 to pay for 2011 street improvements.

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I commend council members Koep, Goedker and Bevans for their vote to only borrow $1,000,000 and save the citizens $900,000 in taxes.

The council should also eliminate the additional tax levy of $150,000 in proposed 2012 budget, since there are extra funds available.

Council members Koep and Goedker didn’t vote for this additional levy in the preliminary budget.

A few years ago, HRA made a decision to speculate in purchasing land and constructing houses. The project called the Brainerd Oaks failed, resulting in a loss over $5,000,000. The lots are in foreclosure.

The taxpayers are paying the $1,500,000 for infrastructure costs with a tax levy.

HRA receives an annual tax levy from the city for their operational expenses.

In 2012 this levy is $132,038. I am proposing HRA pay 20 percent of this levy on the amount they owe to the city. Over seven years this will save the taxpayers $140,000. HRA directors are opposed to this plan.

Recently I was informed HRA approved a large salary increase over what their former director was paid for their new director, and donated $10,000 to a non-profit organization.

The HRA board, including council member Parks and Nesheim receive a $75 per diem when attending meetings of the HRA.

I will be presenting a motion to the Council: HRA pays 20 percent of their operational tax levy to help reduce some of this $1,500,000 debt HRA owes on the Brainerd Oaks.

Alderman Bob Olson

Brainerd

EDITOR’S NOTE: The $10,000 went to the Healthy Community Partnership Task Force to acquire and demolish substandard vacant homes with the intent of improving neighborhoods.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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