County intervention not needed in Brainerd, Oak Lawn Township dispute

An unusual hearing originally scheduled for Tuesday by the Crow Wing County Board to resolve a dispute between Brainerd and Oak Lawn Township over a shared road was avoided after the involved parties came to an agreement.

An unusual hearing originally scheduled for Tuesday by the Crow Wing County Board to resolve a dispute between Brainerd and Oak Lawn Township over a shared road was avoided after the involved parties came to an agreement.

County Attorney Don Ryan presented a letter from Brainerd's city civil attorney, Eric Quiring, in which the city withdrew its request for board intervention on the matter.

The dispute centered around the reconstruction of a 500-foot stretch of road that lies in both city and township jurisdiction. After Oak Lawn Township backed out of paying $42,000 toward the project, the city moved ahead with a petition to the county to resolve the dispute, per statute and the road maintenance agreement between the two.

The parties gave reaching an agreement before the hearing another chance and settled on a joint payment by Oak Lawn and the Faith Baptist Church, each contributing $21,000. The church is located on the stretch of road at issue. A secondary agreement acknowledges that should the city annex that portion of property within the next 15 years, the city will repay the township's cost.

In other business, the board:


Approved a contract for new meeting management software after learning the company currently providing software has been sold and will no longer make updates to the system. County Administrator Tim Houle said the server is also off warranty and malfunctioning occasionally, so if the county remained with the software, provided by SIRE Agenda Management, an estimated $20,000 worth of work would be required to fix those issues for a system that won't be updated.

The new software will come from IQM2 at an increased cost to the county. The SIRE system provided service for $5,200 per year, but the new software will cost nearly 3.5 times as much at $1,500 per month.

The software will include new functions, such as electronic signatures of documents and an iPad application. The company will also not charge the county to transfer historical data.

Scheduled a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Sept. 30 for discussion of revoking jurisdiction of County Roads 119 and 146 to the First Assessment District. The Highway Department commented both of these roads are "more in line" with a township road than a county road.

Approved replacement staffing for an administrative/technical specialist in the community services department, a public health nurse in community services, an assessment specialist in land services and a part-time administrative/technical specialist in land services. Sarah Schouveller, administrative/technical specialist, and Grace Forbord, public health nurse, both left their positions. The county hired Stacy Harsha as administrative/technical specialist in customer service at community services and approved the transfer of Darleen Wood as a property assessor in training for land services. A policy and planning analyst position in land services was reclassified from grade 16 to 17. The change was related to the reduction of one supervisory full-time employee.

Authorized the sheriff's department to send four bomb technicians to a Sept. 15-19 conference in Deadwood, S.D. Homeland Security and Emergency Management will reimburse all costs except wages.

Renewed a contract for medical examiner services with independent contractor Dr. Michael B. McGee for a period of three years. The contract was modified to include a clause stating it could be terminated by either party with a 45-day written notice.

Authorized a grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to fund the county's Emergency Management Division. The agreement, which will be effective until Dec. 31, will provide $43,973 in funding subject to a 100 percent match. The funds will be used for training and to offset salary and benefits' costs of the salary and benefits for Emergency Management Director John Bowen.


Accepted a $600 donation from the Crow Wing County Fair Association to the Crow Wing County Mounted Patrol.

Adopted a resolution to authorize the advertising for sealed bids for the clearing and grubbing of trees as part of the 2015 County State Aid Highway 36 reconstruction. The clearing and grubbing is proposed to be completed ahead of the reconstruction project due to the proposed upcoming listing of the Northern long-eared bat on the endangered species list. Clearing the trees in the winter will not affect the bat. The relocation of utilities will also be possible with this scheduling.

Approved an agreement to provide administrative support services to the Mississippi Headwaters Board, a joint powers agreement among eight area counties, in exchange for $20,000 annual compensation.

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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