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Brainerd to instate Community Member of the Month honors

Exemplary Brainerd community members will get their time to shine in the spotlight after city council members agreed to implement a Community Member of the Month program.

The Brainerd City Council agreed to implement at Community Member of the Month program, recognizing one exemplary community member each month. Screenshot, city of Brainerd
The Brainerd City Council agreed to implement at Community Member of the Month program, recognizing one exemplary community member each month. Screenshot, city of Brainerd

Exemplary Brainerd community members will get their time to shine in the spotlight after city council members agreed to implement a Community Member of the Month program.

"This is the type of person who does positive little things to make their neighborhood or their area a place where people want to live," planning department intern Collin Mieras told council members Monday, May 20. "The program is geared toward recognizing specifically the 'little guy' or a member of the community who isn't normally in the spotlight."

Council member Dave Badeaux said he came up with the idea for honoring a community member after an anonymous neighbor snowplowed Badeaux's driveway and sidewalks this past winter.

"It's such a small thing that is so unique to a city setting. And it happens all the time, but people don't get recognized for it," Badeaux said. "And I thought, well why shouldn't there be a way to recognize the guy that just a little something extra and doesn't do it because he wants recognition but does it because they're a good neighbor."

Community members themselves will nominate candidates by filling out a form that will soon be available on the community development page of the city's website.

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The nomination period will constantly be open.

Mayor Ed Menk will ultimately choose a winner each month, and that person will be recognized at the first council meeting of the month.

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved a taxicab license for Baker Transportation Inc., operating as Elite Taxi.

Approved a wage grid for the transportation specialist, a position the council agreed to create in April. The grid ranges from $21.94 per hour in Step 1 to $29.62 per hour in Step 8.

Approved a lawful gambling application from The Baxter Snowmobile Club to conduct lawful gambling on the upper level of the Last Turn Saloon.

Approved a temporary on-sale liquor license application from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1647 for an event June 1 at the Brainerd National Guard Armory.

Appointed Severson Porter Law as the official city prosecutor, as Gov. Tim Walz appointed current City Prosecutor Matt Mallie to the bench in Minnesota's 9th Judicial District. Severson Porter will assume the same terms and conditions of the existing agreement with Mallie, which runs through Dec. 31, 2022. Mallie's last day of service for the city is May 31, and Severson Porter Law will start prior to that date to work with Mallie on a smooth transition process.

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Authorized the police department to buy a 2019 Ford F-150 from Mills Ford for $24,280 plus tax and licensing to replace the community service officer truck that was struck by a snowplow and totaled in February. Insurance payments from the old CSO truck and the patrol sergeant's squad car-which was submerged in water in the Mills Park parking lot in March and subsequently totaled-will be used to pay for the new truck. The department budgeted for three squad car replacements this year, and the patrol sergeant's car will take one of those spots.

Approved a street closure request for an auction June 22 at the intersection of 10th Avenue Northeast and I Street.

Approved a street closure request for the Brainerd Jaycees Street Fest July 26-27. The group requested the closing of Front Street between South Sixth and Seventh streets, along with a few parking spaces from South Seventh to South Eighth Street for a motorcycle rally.

Approved an event application for the Brainerd Pride Picnic June 8 at TheShop. No street closure is needed.

Approved an event application for the Walk 4 Hope June 8. The event will use walking facilities on Lum Park Road, Washington Street, 11th and 13th avenues northeast and K and L streets.

Awarded Northwoods Landscaping a contract worth $12,180 for downtown landscaping services. The city reached out to more than two dozen companies for bids, but only Northwoods Landscaping-which the city has used the last few years-responded. Work includes landscaping of urns; spring cleanup/pruning/trimming/fertilizing; planting beds and streetscaping; general clean up of paver services; weed control of parking lots, tree gates, sidewalks and curbs; and biweekly blowing of sidewalks.

Authorized the final payment of $798,549.10 to Anderson Brothers Construction for improvements on the South Sixth Street east frontage road completed in 2017.

Authorized a contract with Short Elliott Hendrickson for $110,779 for construction administration and observation services on the project in northeast Brainerd, which includes the reconstruction of portions of H Street and 10th Avenue Northeast.

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Approved a resolution banning parking on Buffalo Hills Lane from Greenwood Street to the dead end after the upcoming reconstruction project, as the street will no longer be wide enough for parking.

Appointed Christopher Foley to the planning commission.

Accepted the retirement notice of Street Foreman Dale Rademacher, effective in July, and authorized staff to post for the position.

Adjourned to the groundbreaking ceremony at Harrison Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, where there may be a quorum of council members.

Brainerd City Council members discuss matters during their meeting Monday, May 20, at city hall. Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd City Council members discuss matters during their meeting Monday, May 20, at city hall. Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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