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Brainerd City Council: Council continues to deny change orders

The Brainerd City Council Monday night upheld a decision it made at a July 18 meeting to deny two change orders for an ongoing utility project. At the July 18 meeting, the council considered three change orders for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Air...

Council member Dave Pritschet (on projector screen) observes discussion during Monday night's Brainerd City Council meeting. Pritschet was attending the meeting via Skype, as he was in Rochester during the meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch/Spenser Bickett)
Council member Dave Pritschet (on projector screen) observes discussion during Monday night's Brainerd City Council meeting. Pritschet was attending the meeting via Skype, as he was in Rochester during the meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch/Spenser Bickett)

The Brainerd City Council Monday night upheld a decision it made at a July 18 meeting to deny two change orders for an ongoing utility project.

At the July 18 meeting, the council considered three change orders for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project, approving one and rejecting two.

Monday night, a motion to uphold the previous motion was approved on a 4-3 vote, with council members Chip Borkenhagen, Dave Pritschet and Gabe Johnson voting against the motion. City Finance Director Connie Hillman said the council could not talk further about the denied change orders unless the motion from the July 18 meeting was rescinded. Because it was not, the council did not discuss the change orders.

"I'm paying you X amount of dollars to dig a hole from here to here and put sewer and water in," council member Kelly Bevans said, quoting a point Johnson made during the July 18 meeting. "It seems pretty simple."

Borkenhagen had requested the rejected change orders be put on the agenda for the Monday meeting. Johnson said he didn't support the motion to uphold the July 18 motion because he'd like to hear what the engineers have to say about why the council is looking at the issue again.

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The third change order, for extra equipment and work associated with moving a large rock blocking the boring of the water casing under Highway 210, would have resulted in an increase of $88,037 in the contract cost. The fourth change order, for extra work associated with the removal of concrete rubble necessary to construct about 800 feet of water main, would have resulted in an increase of $27,490 in the contract cost.

A motion to deny change orders three and four was approved on a 5-2 vote, with council members Johnson and Pritschet voting against the motion.

The approved change order, the fifth of the project, resulted in a decrease of $260,792 in the contract cost. It was to document the cost difference of a design change from gravity sewer to a directional drilled force main in an area where there is concrete rubble.

In other business, the council was introduced to the new city attorney by outgoing city attorney Eric Quiring. The new attorney, Joe Langel, is a member of the same firm as Quiring: Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A., in Minneapolis.

In other business, the council:

Adopted ordinance no. 1458 opting out out of the recently approved state law Chapter 111-S.F. 2555, an act relating to local government and regulating zoning of temporary family health care dwellings. The new law creates a process for landowners to place mobile residential dwellings on their property to serve as a temporary family health care dwelling.

The law was intended to provide a short-term care alternative for a mentally or physically impaired person, by allowing them to stay in a temporary dwelling on a relative's or caregiver's property. The law includes a provision stating cities can opt out of the law but must do so by Sept. 1. The council also held a public hearing and final reading on the ordinance before adopting it.

Approved a motion promoting police officer Michael Kulzer to the position of sergeant, effective Tuesday. Kulzer fills the vacancy left by the retirement of Sgt. Joy Larson. Police Chief Corky McQuiston said Kulzer has been with the department for seven years.

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Accepted with regret the resignation of Dennis Logelin as a paid on-call firefighter from the Brainerd Fire Department, effective July 26. Logelin had been with the department since 2001.

Called for citizen applicants for the Cable TV Advisory Committee, Rental Dwelling Board of Appeals and Walkable Bikeable City Committee.

Approved an on-sale liquor license for Patrick Severson doing business as 218, located at 723 Mill Avenue. The license is contingent upon the successful completion of a fire inspection.

Received a written report from Fire Chief Tim Holmes on the department's activity for the month of July. The department responded to 44 calls for service during the month, with three of the calls canceled enroute. Of those 44 calls, 29 were within the city of Brainerd.

Approved a street closure request from the Night Beats Committee for an event Sept. 24 on the 800 block of Laurel Street. The requested closure is for the east half of the block from noon to 5 p.m. when Thrifty White Pharmacy closes, then the entire block for the remainder of the evening until 2 a.m. The organizers must coordinate traffic control with the street department and submit appropriate insurance.

Approved a street closure request from the Minnesota Street Rod Association for an event Sept. 10. The request is for temporary no parking zones for bus loading areas on the south side of Front Street between South Fifth and South Sixth streets, the north side of Juniper Street at the intersection of North Sixth Street and the east side of North 10th Street by the Franklin Arts Center Entrance.

Approved a change to the city's transit policy to allow for passenger pickups as early as 7 a.m. This is a change from the current policy of 7:15 a.m. Rides have historically started at 7 a.m., so the policy change reflects current operations.

Approved a contractor payment to Short Elliott Hendrickson for consultant work through June 30 on the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project in the amount of $99,970.

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Approved a contractor payment to Short Elliott Hendrickson for a feasibility report for a utility extension project on Jordan Road in the amount of $2,500.

Approved a final contractor payment to Anderson Brothers Construction for the 2016 crack sealing project in the amount of $13,838.

Ratified the hiring of Nicole Torrence as an administrative specialist in the Administration Department. Torrence will start at Step A in the salary administration plan or 85 percent of the top wage for the position; her starting wage will be $19.81 per hour. Her anticipated start date is Aug. 8. Her hiring is contingent upon the successful completion of pre-employment testing.

 

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or spenser.bickett@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett .

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