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Brainerd City Council: New mayor sworn in

New Brainerd Mayor Ed Menk participated in his first city council meeting Monday night as the city's mayor following his swearing-in. Menk fills the vacancy left by James Wallin's untimely passing on Sept. 26, and will serve until the general ele...

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Brainerd City Administrator Jim Thoreen administers the Oath of Office to new Brainerd mayor Ed Menk at the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday night. Menk was selected by the council after the death of James Wallin. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls)

New Brainerd Mayor Ed Menk participated in his first city council meeting Monday night as the city's mayor following his swearing-in.

Menk fills the vacancy left by James Wallin's untimely passing on Sept. 26, and will serve until the general election in November of 2016, when a mayor will be elected to serve the remaining two years of Wallin's four-year term.

Following Nov. 30 interviews with six mayoral candidates, the council on a 4-3 vote decided to have Menk fill the mayor's position. The three other votes were for candidate Kevin Goedker.

After the Nov. 30 meeting, Menk outlined his plan for his first meeting as mayor. He said he would show up on time, wear a Christmas-themed necktie, sit in the mayor's chair and be nice to people.

Monday, he lived up to his plan. Menk was punctual and his necktie featured candy canes, Christmas tree ornaments and stars. City Administrator Jim Thoreen administered the oath of office to Menk. Thoreen told the assembled audience he's only been in his position for about four months and despite his long career in county administration in Minnesota, he's never given the oath of office to a mayor.

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"It's a great privilege," Thoreen said.

Thoreen confessed to Menk that he had not rehearsed the oath of office.

"We're going to wing this," Thoreen said.

Menk recited the oath, pledging to perform his duties as mayor to the best of his abilities.

"Let's go to work," Menk said, following the ceremony.

In other business, the council:

Received a report from Fire Chief Tim Holmes on the department's activity in November. For the month, the department fielded 45 calls for service, 12 of which were canceled enroute. Of those 45 calls, 17 were in the city of Brainerd, with four of those 17 calls canceled enroute. During the month, the department responded to two suspicious fires that are under investigation.

Approved the 2016 budget and 2016-2020 capital improvement budget for the Brainerd Public Utilities. Both documents were approved by the BPU Commission at its Nov. 24 meeting.

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Authorized the purchase of four tax-forfeited parcels from Crow Wing County in the amount of $2,283. Three of the parcels are used for stormwater conveyance or management.

Held the first reading of two ordinances amending city policies in order to comply with updates to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Stormwater Program for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, or MS4 permit. The council also adopted MS4 standard operating procedures.

Authorized advertisement for bids for the 2016 Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport trunk water and sewer utility project. The final plan for the project will possibly be approved by the council at its Dec. 21 meeting.

Approved the purchase of the premium website package from Civic Plus in the amount of $9,948. In August, the council had approved purchasing the core package from Civic Plus in order to redesign the city's website.

Accepted the fare increases for Brainerd & Crow Wing Public Transit, which had been approved by the Crow Wing County Board at its Nov. 10 meeting. Regularly scheduled trips will go from $2.50 to $3.50 per ride starting Jan. 1, 2016, and Dial-A-Ride services will go from $1.50 to $2 per ride.

Approved a payment of $1,815 to Braun Intertec for the 28th Street reconstruction project.

Approved a payment of $2,399 to Preservation Design Works for the historic water tower analysis project.

Approved a payment of $52,584 to Short Elliott Hendrickson for the 2016 airport utility extension project.

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

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
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