It’s an evening filled with lights, noise, family and friends — and more often than not some celebratory champagne when the clock strikes midnight. New Year’s Eve is the last of the “winter holiday season” for many; the last big hoorah and the finale of parties, presents and an overwhelming amount of food. And of course the last day of 2012. So what are some of the things to do in our beloved lakes area on Dec. 31? We rustled some of the happenings in the area and some different ideas for you to ring in the new year. Cheers to 2013!
When most people think of after-school activities, their minds tend to gear toward the athletic feats; football, volleyball, basketball, hockey, the list goes on. But for some Brainerd High School students, exercising their minds instead has earned them a bid to a national tournament, and recognition across the state.
Little more than one week has passed since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 people — 20 of them children – dead. The shock and evil behind it seems to have forced many to ask and wonder why. Why did the shooter, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, do this? Why do these things happen? And why should our children have to be afraid to go to school with the potential of this happening anywhere?
It looks like winter has most definitely arrived in the Brainerd lakes area this year. Blanketed in white and temperatures expected out of Minnesota winters, this year looks to be the complete opposite of what was seen less than a year ago.
Ongoing since spring 2012 — with discussion and disputes dating to years before that — construction on College Drive was completed in fall 2012. Included in that completion, the city of Brainerd introduced drivers and the community to roundabouts Oct. 26. In a memo to staff during a Brainerd City Council meeting Dec. 17, Brainerd City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said the final project cost was estimated at $9,458,592. When including all related expenses with the final cash receivables the total will be approximately $9,696,940.
Essentially, Brainerd Parks and Recreation threw them a bone — one big enough for all the dogs in town. After a year and-a-half of planning, research and finding the right location a committee of dog enthusiasts has finally had its wish granted, with a dog park approved and ready for construction in Brainerd. “I can’t thank Tony (Sailer, Brainerd Parks and Recreation director) enough for all of his help in this process,” said Dan Hegstad, member of the Brainerd Dog Park Committee. “He helped us pick out location and has really helped make this possible.”
Brainerd City Council members faced a difficult decision Monday night in regard to Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek and his pay as a full-time department head and as a member of the fire department’s paid on-call staff. Stunek has served 38 years as a paid on-call firefighter and been paid for the part-time duty. However, his position as fire chief is a salaried position.
What do you want to see in the Brainerd community and how do the citizens and Brainerd City Council make that happen? That and other questions were posed Tuesday evening at the The Center, formerly the Brainerd Lakes Area Senior Activity Center, in the first of monthly community meetings organized by council member-elect Chip Borkenhagen. Fellow council member-elect Gary Scheeler also was in attendance. About 25 people gathered at The Center to share problems they would like to see resolved in the city and ask their own questions, too.
With the College Drive Project wrapped up, Brainerd City Engineer Jeff Hulsether wrote up the final cost of the project during the Brainerd City Council meeting on Monday night. In a memo to staff, Hulsether said the final project cost was estimated at $9,458,592. When including all related expenses with the final cash receivables the total will be approximately $9,696,940.
Brainerd City Council approved the final 2013 budget and property tax levy of $3,953,486 Monday night, keeping it the same as the preliminary budget — presented Dec. 10 — and the same as the 2012 levy. Of the total levy, $1.5 million, or 38 percent, is levied for debt service. Council also approved the 2013 budget at $13,066,769 in revenue and $12,969,231 in expenditures, giving the city $97,538 more revenue over expenditures.