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Brainerd City Council: Committee can move ahead with project

The Brainerd Riverfront Committee can now proceed with developing plans and a cost for the proposed Three Bridges Trail. The Brainerd City Council Monday night adopted a resolution allowing the committee to apply for a $1 million grant from the L...

Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley commander, speaks to the Brainerd City Council Monday night about activities planned for the summer at Camp Ripley. Spenser Bickett/Brainerd Dispatch
Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley commander, speaks to the Brainerd City Council Monday night about activities planned for the summer at Camp Ripley. Spenser Bickett/Brainerd Dispatch

The Brainerd Riverfront Committee can now proceed with developing plans and a cost for the proposed Three Bridges Trail.

The Brainerd City Council Monday night adopted a resolution allowing the committee to apply for a $1 million grant from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The grant-which does not require a local match-will be used for preliminary design and engineering on the project.

The elevated trail would run along the Mississippi River from the Washington Street bridge, passing underneath the Laurel Street and railroad bridges before ending along East River Road near Brainerd High School. There's a similar elevated trail on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis on the University of Minnesota campus.

Rod Osterloh, committee chair, clarified if the committee's grant application is approved, the council would still be able to accept or reject the grant. The volunteer committee has no budget, he said, which is one of the reasons why a grant is needed to proceed with project planning.

"The reason for the LCCMR grant is so that we can actually get some design," Osterloh said. "And start putting some sideboards around what the cost may actually be."

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At an April 24 workshop session between the council and committee, former council member Mary Koep claimed the project could cost $15 million. Monday, Osterloh said the $15 million figure was plucked from the air and isn't based on any estimates.

"What you deserve to see is an entire package," Osterloh said. "And a number, a gross number, isn't a complete package."

The committee sees the project as a public-private partnership, Osterloh said. There will be public funding and public grants involved, he said, but there are also private sector organizations that could contribute funding.

The Brainerd Riverfront Committee has been evaluating the Mississippi River Partnership Plan, which the University of Minnesota Center for Rural Design helped develop. The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation awarded the committee a three-year $100,000 "Difference Maker" grant, and the committee has been trying to determine its first project goal. The committee used the grant to hire Short Elliott Hendrickson to coordinate the plan.

Council President Dave Pritschet was absent Monday night.

In other business, the council:

Listened to an update from Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley commander, about activities planned for the summer at Camp Ripley.

Accepted a low bid from Asphalt Preservation Company in the amount of $105,797 for the 2017 chip seal project. This is under the engineer's estimate of $143,152 for the project.

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Two other bids were received for the project. Asphalt Surfaces Technologies Corporation submitted a bid of $106,332 and Allied Blacktop Company submitted a bid of $124,091.

Authorized an agreement with engineering firm Bolton and Menk, which has locations throughout the Midwest including Baxter, to cover the city of Brainerd's cost for chip sealing the portion of Dellwood Drive within the city of Brainerd. This carries an estimated cost of $5,355.

The city of Baxter is chip sealing its portion of Dellwood Drive this summer and approached the city of Brainerd about including Brainerd's portion of the road in the project. This amounts to half of a quarter-mile section of the road.

Approved a request from American Legion Post 255 to hold "Poppy Day" on May 21 throughout the city of Brainerd.

Approved a new contractor license for Erdahl Construction Company, Inc., St. Michael.

Received a written report from Fire Chief Tim Holmes on the department's activity for the month of April. The department received 34 calls for service during the month, with 11 of those calls canceled enroute. Of those 34 calls, 12 were within the city of Brainerd.

Approved a contractor payment to Short Elliott Hendrickson for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project in the amount of $11,848.

Approved a street closure request submitted by the Brainerd Eagles Aerie 287 for the Fourth of July Street Dance. The event is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 at the Eagles parking lot, 124 Front St., and at the intersection of Front and South Second streets.

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Approved a street closure request submitted by the Memorial Day Committee for the Memorial Day parade in northeast Brainerd. The parade staging begins at 9:30 a.m. May 29, with the parade starting at 10 a.m. The parade route will begin on First Avenue Northeast, proceed south and turn east on B Street, before turning north on Third Avenue Northeast. The parade ends at Evergreen Cemetery. It also involves the closure of half of the Laurel Street bridge at 8:30 a.m. for a wreath ceremony.

Authorized the sale of a 1985 John Deere tractor with broom and mower attachments via a public auction website. The city has purchased a new tractor with broom and mower attachments to replace the old one.

Accepted with regret the resignation of Robert Turner from the planning commission.

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