Brainerd’s new cable channel to broadcast on various platforms
Brainerd Community and College Channel will be available on cable, online and through other means.
BRAINERD — Once it’s up and running, Brainerd’s new cable channel will broadcast city meetings on eight different platforms.
Shawn Strong, the city’s information technology coordinator, told City Council members Monday, June 6, the channel is nearly ready to go, pending contract finalization and Charter getting the equipment it needs.
When the channel goes live, viewers will be able to watch City Council meetings on cable through CTC (channel 8) and Charter (channel yet to be determined), through Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV and on YouTube and Cablecast.TV. Videos will also be embedded on the city’s website.
The new channel, which will be a collaborative effort between the city and Central Lakes College, will be called Brainerd Community and College Channel, or BC3 for short.
While the city previously aired its council meetings on a public, education and government access channel through a partnership with Lakes Media Collaborative, that has not happened since before last year’s renovations at city hall, which drove the council to meet at the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse.
During the renovations, the city attempted to work with Lakes Media Collaborative to reinstall the audio equipment as well as purchase and install updated video equipment for the council chambers in order to be able to air the meetings on TV again. Strong and City Administrator Jennifer Bergman reported in 2020, however, they were having a hard time coordinating with Lakes Media Collaborative to get and install the equipment. Those difficulties triggered council discussion about cutting ties altogether and moving into a partnership with CLC.
The city worked with the media collaborative since 2005, when meeting minutes show the council made a motion to contribute annual franchise fees to the group so government meetings could be broadcast. The city continued paying those franchise fees for the next 15 years, though no formal agreement between the two entities can be found.
In August last year, the council directed staff to draft a letter to Lakes Media Collaborative requesting it return unused city funds. There is roughly $700,000 in the collaborative’s general fund, Strong said at the time, and the vast majority of that is likely from the franchise fees Brainerd paid over the last 15 years, while some may be from Baxter or past grants.
As of Monday, the council had not heard back from the media collaborative and agreed to send another letter to all the board members requesting the money be returned.
In other business Monday, the council:
Accepted the resignation of paid-on-call firefighter Andrew Bickel, effective May 2.
Ratified the hiring of temporary summer employees: Benjamin Jones and Levi Block, Brainerd Public Utilities summer maintenance workers, $14 per hour; Nicholas Brisk and Riley Backstrom, BPU line crew interns, $20 and $22 per hour, respectively; Lydia Ziemer and Alexander Oreskovich, street laborers, $15 per hour.
Agreed to renew its prosecution services with Severson Porter Law. The current three-year contract is up at the end of the year, and the parties must give six months' notice to renew.
Approved a request for a city employee appreciation event Sept. 14. City offices will close from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the event, which will include lunch and an award presentation at Lum Park.
Authorized lodging reimbursement of up to $200 for three city engineer candidates who will interview for the job June 22. The cost — which could be up to $600 if all candidates request the reimbursement — will be offset by the budgeted wage not being paid for the position right now.
Approved an event application for the Shep’s on 6th Elbow Convention set for noon Aug. 26 through 12:30 p.m. Aug. 29 in the alley adjacent to Shep’s.
Approved an event application for a pop-up skate park from noon to 3 p.m. June 18 in the City Hall parking lot. The parking lot will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for setup and take down for the event, which will include a food truck from Dunmire’s.
Accepted a bid from DeChantal Excavating for the west segment of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail at a cost of $640,162.28.
Accepted a bid from Independent Testing Technologies Inc. for testing services on the Greenwood Street reconstruction project at a cost of $4,215.
Scheduled a joint workshop with the BPU Commission for 5 p.m. June 27 at City Hall.