City to buy 150th anniversary banners

The 250 banners will be placed on light poles throughout the city to celebrate Brainerd's 150th anniversary this year.

To celebrate Brainerd’s sesquicentennial, the city will be putting up 250 banners on light poles throughout the city. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

Banners celebrating Brainerd’s sesquicentennial will soon adorn light poles throughout the city.

The city council agreed to purchase 250 banners with the custom logo Mayor Dave Badeaux designed to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary this year.

“We initially wanted to put 450 banners on our light poles across town,” City Administrator Jennifer Bergman told the council Monday, April 19, “but as you can see from the quotes in your packet, that got to be rather expensive.”

The original amount would have cost the city more than $20,000, so council members agreed to the 250, which will cost $12,800 to purchase at Minnesota Makerspace. Two other quotes from Minnesota T’s and Northern Lights Display were $20,000 and $18,438, respectively.

In March, council members agreed to earmark funds from its special projects fund for sesquicentennial events. After a $500 donation to the Crow Wing County Historical Society and $8,000 budgeted for Fourth of July fireworks, that leaves roughly $19,500 for the sesquicentennial.


The banners will be installed on South Sixth Street, Washington Street, Mill Avenue and in the downtown area. Staff at Brainerd Public Utilities agreed to put them up free of charge.

Council member Gabe Johnson asked why the banners were blue, silver and white and did not incorporate green, as is on the city’s seal. Badeaux said those three colors worked better with the design from an artistic standpoint.

Johnson opposed buying the banners — not because of the sign — but because of the steps taken to ask for the funds. As an unbudgeted item, Johnson said the measure should have come before the council’s personnel and finance committee first so that group could make a recommendation to the full council. Bergman apologized and said that was an unintentional oversight on her part, as she was thinking about the banners as a sesquicentennial matter and not a financial matter.

The rest of the council approved the measure.

The banners will likely be available for sale after use this year, with the proceeds earned being donated to a community organization.

In other business Monday, the council:

Accepted donations to the parks department: $500 from Brainerd Community Action for water bottle filling stations; $30 from Jolie Bray for a memorial tree plaque; $500 from Brainerd Rotary Foundation for Easter egg hunt; $30 from Timothy Bachel for a memorial tree plaque.


Accepted donations from the following for parks and recreation banner sales and field improvements: $250, Team Ascension Martial Arts; $150, All Fried Up; $325, Advocates for Reproductive Education; $575 Dunmires Bar & Grill; $300, Clark Lake Homes/Pit Happens; $250, First Western Bank & Trust; $400, Eagles Club.

Authorized the hiring of temporary employees: Isaiah Escobedo, engineering intern at $15.50 an hour; Bryce McConville, engineering intern at $13 and hour; Elizabeth Fairbanks, human resources intern at $13.25 an hour; Eric Desmith, street laborer at $13 an hour. Part of McConville’s and Fairbanks’s wages will be paid by Sourcewell, while the other wages are included in the city’s 2021 budget.

Authorized the hiring of Toni Gage as an administrative specialist starting April 28. She will be placed at step 1 of the city’s wage grid, earning $20.80 an hour.

Classified three tax-forfeited parcels of land as nonconservation so they can be sold at Crow Wing County’s land sale. One parcel is on Maple Street and two are along Highway 25.

Approved an event application for the Lakes Area Music Festival Block Party from 3:30-9 p.m. Aug. 12 in the Laurel Street parking lot.

Authorized the use of $976,000 from the water availability charge fund on the expansion of the groundwater storage tanks and the related backwash tank project at Brainerd Public Utilities.

Accepted the resignations of Dale Parks from the park board and W. Merritt Bussiere from the cable TV advisory committee.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .


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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