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Brainerd: City council accepts grant for northeast, downtown rehabilitation

Thanks to a grant from the Small Communities Development Program, the city of Brainerd has more than $600,000 to help with renovations in the northeast and downtown portions of town.

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Thanks to a grant from the Small Communities Development Program, the city of Brainerd has more than $600,000 to help with renovations in the northeast and downtown portions of town.

The Brainerd City Council, Monday, Oct. 15, adopted policies and plans needed to receive the $638,338 grant from the state. Policies formally adopted include:

• Use of force policy, which is already contained in the police department's policy manual and will remain effective throughout the term of the grant. The policy gives officers guidelines for the use of force and deadly force in accordance with Minnesota statutes.

• Drug-free workplace policy, which is already contained the city's employee policy manual. The city will enforce the policy through notification and a drug-free workplace awareness program.

• Displacement minimization plan, which describes steps the city will take to mitigate the adverse effects of displacement on low- and moderate-income residents, should it occur during the rehab project. Displacement, though possible, is not anticipated during this project, according to the plan.

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• Section 3 Plan to comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's requirements to ensure preference is given to low- and very low-income residents or businesses during use of the grant.

• Small Communities Development Program income reuse policy, which states any program income received in the future will be used to meet a federal objective.

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved a lawful gambling application from Central Lakes College Foundation for an event Dec. 21.

Approved an out-of-state travel request for Officer Tim Friis, the police department's bomb technician assigned to the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Bomb Team. Friis will attend Hazardous Devices Recertification Nov. 25-30 in Huntsville, Ala. Other than Friis' wages, all expenses-including travel, lodging and meals-are paid by the FBI.

Renewed the city's contract with Ratwick, Roszak & Maloney for legal services for 2019-2020 and set aside a $70,000 budget for services.

Scheduled a budget workshop for 6 p.m. Nov. 13. The council will also have a facility discussion workshop 6 p.m. Oct. 24.

Approved a Brainerd Transit service fare increase of $0.25 for Brainerd-to-Brainerd and Brainerd-to/from-Baxter Dial-a-Ride Service, equating to fares of $1.25 and $2.25, respectively. The increase is due to a 6 percent increase in the transit system's new third-party contract with Productive Alternatives, resulting in a cost increase of roughly $17,852 to the city in the first year of the contract. This increase does not affect the Express Route service.

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Approved an amendment to the Transit Operating Policy, no longer allowing bus drivers to sell ride tickets on the bus. The Transit Advisory Committee is looking into other ticket sale venues.

Approved a street closure application for the annual Turkey Run from 7-11 a.m. Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day, using Wright Street, South 10th Street, Southeast 11th Street, Thiesse Drive, County Highway 45, County Road 117 and fairground property.

Authorized city staff to submit an application for Highway Safety Improvement Program funding to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for improvements to Northwest Fourth Street.

Authorized city staff to submit a letter of intent to MnDOT to apply for Transportation Alternatives funding for 28th Street and downtown trail connections.

Accepted a quote of $34,000 from Hengel Construction to demolish the buildings at 507 S. Sixth St.

Accepted the resignation of Melonie Ellstrom from the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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