Public hearing set for looser snow removal restrictions

Residents will be able to give their input at the City Council meeting Feb. 21.

A person uses a snow blower to clear snow.
People continue to move snow Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, after the most recent snowstorm in Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — The Brainerd City Council is moving forward with fewer restrictions on the time of day snowblowers can be used in the city, but Mayor Dave Badeaux still wants a better compromise.

Council members on Monday, Feb. 6, approved the first reading of changes to the city’s noise ordinance, which would exempt snow removal equipment like snowblowers and leaf blowers from the city’s noise ordinance.

The issue first came up last month , when Community Development Director James Kramvik told the council there were a couple complaints this year about snow removal with that type of equipment occurring outside the hours permitted in the city’s noise ordinance, which does not allow for power equipment to be used before 6:30 a.m. or after 10 p.m. during the week. Snowplows are not considered power equipment and do not have time constraints.

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Kramvik said there were also complaints from businesses and institutions, like schools and churches, about not being able to begin clearing snow early enough to be ready for patrons, staff and students.

While council members directed Kramvik to draw up an amendment to the ordinance last month to allow for plowing at any time, Badeaux was not quite on board, worrying about nearby residents.


“The last time we spoke of this I was a little theatrical about my distaste for this, maybe being a little facetious, but at the same time I do think we should be accommodating to reasonable requests,” Badeaux said. “I like everything that’s here, although I do think it is a reasonable request from homeowners that backpack blowers before 5 a.m. seems a bit excessive. … I think it’s a reasonable request that people aren’t walking around with Ghostbuster backpacks blowing snow around before 5 a.m.”

Council members will host a public hearing on the issue at their next meeting Feb. 21.

Another public hearing that night will deal with proposed revisions to parking restrictions during snow emergencies. Staff’s proposal includes streamlining the restrictions to no parking on north/south streets one day and no parking on east/west streets the next day.

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved a permit application from Confidence Learning Center for lawful gambling to be conducted at Notch 8.

Approved a lawful gambling permit application for St. Andrews Church to conduct excluded bingo on March 18 and Nov. 18 at the church.

Approved a lawful gambling permit application for the Knights of Columbus to conduct excluded bingo events March 2, 9, 16 and 30 at St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic Church.

Accepted the retirement of hydro operator David Wise, effected March 31.


Authorized staff to begin the hiring process for the lineworker vacancy.

Authorized the sale of a retired fire engine on the public auction website.

Adjusted the wage grid step placement for Police Record Management Technician Allyson Timmons, placing her at Step 4, as decided during union contract negotiations.

Ratified the hiring of James Reed as senior engineering/project coordinator, effective Feb. 15, earning $31.41 per hour.

Ratified the hiring of Richard Berry as the 2023 spring police intern, effective Feb. 2, earning $16 an hour. Sourcewell will imburse the city for $14 per hour through its internship reimbursement program.

Approved a letter of support for a grant application the Minnesota Department of Transportation will apply for to fund the Highway 210/Washington Street reconstruction project.

Approved the final payment to Lind Masonry and Construction for the police department cold storage facility in the amount of $5,100.

Accepted the resignation of Rylie Weber from the Parking Commission.


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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