Brainerd City Council: Council to explore sober housing
The city of Brainerd will begin investigating how it wants to oversee and regulate sober housing in the city. The Brainerd City Council Monday night approved a motion stating some regulatory oversight is needed for sober houses and directed the P...
The city of Brainerd will begin investigating how it wants to oversee and regulate sober housing in the city.
The Brainerd City Council Monday night approved a motion stating some regulatory oversight is needed for sober houses and directed the Planning Commission to look into the topic.
There's a variety of issues affecting sober house placement, council member Kelly Bevans said. The Planning Commission won't immediately start drafting ordinance language, he said. Rather, they'll research the topic and report back to the city council.
"The main concept being, just to start a dialogue," council member Dave Badeaux said. "Just to explore it and have more people look at it."
The city of Minneapolis does not regulate sober housing, Bevans said, while the city of St. Paul extensively regulates them. The Planning Commission will see how other communities are regulating sober housing and determine what regulations the city may want to consider, he said.
"We're trying to determine if there is a list of things we need to prioritize and possibly regulate," Bevans said.
When evaluating this topic, the city should be respectful of the privacy of people who live in sober housing, council member Sue Hilgart said.
"I don't know that there needs to be an onerous process for someone to establish a sober house," Hilgart said.
A memo from city Planner Mark Ostgarden noted sober housing is the common term for a private residence for people in chemical dependency recovery. A sober house will be opening in the city in a few weeks and there is a need for sober housing in the area, according to Central Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge.
The city can accommodate sober housing with no special regulations, which is its current status, or include special regulations which comply with existing legal precedents for regulations, Ostgarden noted.
In other business, the council:
Set a date of 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 for a public hearing for three street construction projects planned for this year. The projects-on Jackson Street, Buffalo Hills Lane and Oak Street-will use municipal state aid and local funds. The council also accepted feasibility reports for the projects.
The three projects include resurfacing Jackson Street from Northwest Fourth Street to the west city limits, resurfacing Buffalo Hills Lane from South Sixth Street to Graydon Avenue and a mill and overlay of Oak Street from South Sixth Street to Southeast 19th Street.
The estimated cost of the Jackson Street project is $389,918, with $51,500 to be assessed to benefiting properties. The estimated cost of the Buffalo Hills Lane project is $396,630, with $81,500 to be assessed to benefiting properties.
The estimated cost of the Oak Street project is $644,000, with none to be assessed to benefiting properties, $262,000 for curb ramp construction and $382,000 for the mill and overlay on the street.
Accepted with regret the resignation of Craig Katzenberger, investigator with the Brainerd Police Department, effective Feb. 3. He has taken a position as a forensic investigator with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office after spending more than 11 years with the police department. The council also authorized filling the position by making a conditional job offer to the next available candidate upon the establishment of a new police officer eligibility list.
Accepted with regret the resignation of Nikki Tabaka, administrative specialist, effective Feb. 10. The council also authorized backfilling the position as soon as possible. Tabaka's letter noted she has worked for the city for 10 years.
Approved the promotion of Lori Turkowski, administrative specialist, to the recently created position of information technology specialist, effective Feb. 7. Her compensation will be 100 percent of the base pay for the position, which is $26.52 per hour.
Approved a temporary on-sale liquor license application submitted by the Brainerd Sports Boosters for an event April 22 at the NP Event Space, 210 Blacksmith Circle.
Authorized a conditional job offer to Justin Larson, the top candidate for an engineering technician position. The job offer is contingent upon pre-employment drug screening and background checks. The previous engineering technician, James Reed, resigned effective Dec. 31.
Set a date of 7:30 p.m. March 20 for the annual municipal separate stormwater system public hearing, as required by the Clean Water Act.
Approved a contractor payment to Short Elliott Hendrickson for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project in the amount of $26,192.
Approved a contractor payment to Tom's Backhoe Service for downtown Brainerd snow removal in the amount of $11,782.
Received a written report from Fire Chief Tim Holmes on the department's activity in the month of January. The department responded to 35 calls for service during the month, with eight of those calls canceled enroute. Of those 35 calls, 19 were within the city of Brainerd. The report noted firefighter Josh Mailhot was named the 2016 Brainerd Firefighter of the Year at the department's annual dinner.
Adjourned to a city council retreat, from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday in a basement meeting room at Essentia Health - St. Joseph's Medical Center. The purpose of the retreat is to discuss the city's challenges and to develop goals and objectives to meet those challenges. The city has hired Bruce Miles, consultant with Big River Group LLC, to facilitate the retreat at a cost of $5,620.