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Brainerd City Council: Sinkhole prompts emergency repairs

Much like peeling off an old scab, spring melts away the snow to reveal the wounds of winter--for the intersection of Pine and Walnut streets, these wounds took the form of a sinkhole.

A collapsed culvert at the intersection of Pine and Walnut streets in Brainerd requires emergency repairs. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
A collapsed culvert at the intersection of Pine and Walnut streets in Brainerd requires emergency repairs. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Much like peeling off an old scab, spring melts away the snow to reveal the wounds of winter-for the intersection of Pine and Walnut streets, these wounds took the form of a sinkhole.

The sinkhole formed when a storm sewer culvert near the intersection, constructed of corrugated metal, gradually corroded beyond repair until its breaking point this spring, City Engineer Paul Sandy said. As a result, a hole formed in the top of the pipe and the street caved inward.

"This culvert actually drains a wetland complex, in fact it puts it in the storm sewer," Sandy said. "We need it back. The culvert's collapsed completely."

This requires emergency repair, he told Brainerd City Council members Monday, May 7. The council voted to approve a bid for $17,986 by DeChantal Excavating LLC to address it.

The emergency project would entail replacing the culvert by digging it out and reconnecting it to the storm sewer line. Sandy said the location of the culvert features a wide array of different utilities-a complicating factor in any reconstruction efforts, which both deters potential bidders and drives up the cost.

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That being said, he noted, DeChantal Excavating LLC bid was within a decent range of the roughly $16,000 cost estimate city officials compiled upon appraisal of the site.

"I thought the bid price of around $18,000 is pretty fair," Sandy said, in conclusion. "We need to get it back functioning."

In other business, the council:

Authorized making a conditional job offer to police officer candidate Joe Tablante, contingent on the successful completion of the pre-employment screening process. If hired, Tablante would start June 4 or soon thereafter.

Authorized the Brainerd Police Department to apply for the National Joint Powers Alliance Innovative Funding program for the purchase of traffic safety equipment. Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston said this would be in conjunction with the statewide Toward Zero Deaths campaign.

Approved the one-time use of Minnesota Investment Fund dollars-accounting for 80 percent, or $173,573, of the $216,966 fund balance, to be used for non-economic purposes.

Pledged an allocation of funds to match with funding from the bonding bill and/or through the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. By pledging $100,000, City Administrator Cassandra Torstenson said the city would have better odds of garnering state funding for its proposed Three Bridges Trail on the Mississippi Riverfront-a project slated to cost $1.5 million.

Authorized a contract extension with Close-Converse Commercial Property for three months to perform a real estate market analysis. The extension will run through Dec. 31.

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Accepted the lowest bid by Widseth Smith Nolting-priced at $2,450-to conduct bridge inspection service for 2018. The city received other bids from Short Elliot and Hendrickson for $3,200, and Bolton and Menk for $2,800.

Accepted a towing bid for the fiscal year 2018-20 by West Brainerd Auto. During discussions, City Engineer Paul Sandy noted West Brainerd Auto and its competing bidder, Collins Brothers Towing of St. Cloud Inc., made nearly identical bids-differing a little in certain cases. Members ultimately opted for West Brainerd Auto on the grounds it's a local company.

Approved an event/street closure application for the Garfield Walk-a-Thon to take place 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 18-under the condition event organizers coordinate the need for traffic control with engineering staff prior to the event. Streets closed include 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue, from J Street to L Street, and J Street from 10th Avenue to 11th Avenue.

Approved a contract with Anderson Brothers Construction of Brainerd, in the amount of $639,561.35 for the 10th and Brook streets resurfacing project.

Approved a contract with Greystone Construction in the amount of $222,596 for the construction of a salt/sand storage facility.

Approved a contract with Asphalt Preservation Company Inc. in the amount of $159,852.94 for the 2018 chip seal project. Council members have the option to remove one of the streets off the project to bring the costs below the $150,000 allotted for such purposes.

Approved a contract with KAMCO Inc. in the amount of $12,619 for the 2018 crack sealing project.

Authorized the solicitation of operating services contract for the Brainerd and Crow Wing County Public Transit between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2021. Currently, the city of Brainerd is contracted with Reichert Bus Service.

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Convened the first reading of a proposed ordinance allowing the addition of noncommercial greenhouses as an accessory building. Attached garages are examples of accessory buildings.

Approved a payment plan with Amanda Masurka for an auto extraction fee of $500. In her request documents, the single mother of four said she was unable to work currently as a result of six fractures she suffered during the crash that resulted in her extraction from her vehicle.

Approved an amendment to zoning ordinances that allows the establishment of microdistilleries and cocktail rooms in city limits. Microdistilleries and cocktail rooms are to liquor-sales outlets what microbreweries and taprooms are to beer-peddling establishments.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the council voted to pledge $200,000 to encourage state legislatures to back the Three Bridges Trail portion of the larger Mississippi riverfront project. While the council mulled pledging up to $200,000, they actually voted to approve a $100,000 pledge. The Three Bridges Trail project has been estimated to cost about $1.5 million, though there were also indicatations the LCCMR fund had a high-end ceiling estimate at $2.675 million for these purposes. The Dispatch regrets this error.

An aerial photograph of the Pine-Walnut intersection in southeast Brainerd. The site of the collapsed culvert is indicated by the black box. Project map / City of Brainerd
An aerial photograph of the Pine-Walnut intersection in southeast Brainerd. The site of the collapsed culvert is indicated by the black box. Project map / City of Brainerd

Related Topics: BRAINERD
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