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Reader Opinion: Say what Chip? Part 2

The Brainerd Dispatch recently had an online survey asking readers for their perception of Brainerd. Interesting enough, out of the four answers 68.48 percent voted negative and only 9.62 percent voted positive. Seems to me that's a very strong m...

The Brainerd Dispatch recently had an online survey asking readers for their perception of Brainerd. Interesting enough, out of the four answers 68.48 percent voted negative and only 9.62 percent voted positive. Seems to me that's a very strong message for the city council to consider. Also, a firm called McGhiever does an annual study on the poorest cities in each state. From 2009 to 2013 Brainerd ranked as Minnesota's poorest city. Median income was $29,364 while the state median was $59,836. That's a difference of $30,000. According to the Census Bureau, 12.2 percent of households earned less than $10,000 per year compared to the state average of 5.6 percent. I bring that up for two reasons - first it is nothing to brag about for being number one. Second, some of the snake oil trying to be sold to us begs the question: "Who is going to pay for all this?"

As far as riverfront development, land grants are available and paid for from funds from gambling, which is the reason gambling was allowed. The Great Mississippi River Road gets funding that way as does the Audubon Society and the Rotaries. The key though is they need to be used for preserving nature. Karl Samp, who was a steering committee member and with the River Road, had some valuable insight but I was never allowed to let him speak to the full membership. There was a public open house on Aug. 6 last year at Lum Park. I was there for over three hours chatting with people. I never saw Chip or a recent letter writer Marsha Ferris there either. Due to word limitations at the Dispatch I will have to continue next week.

Howard J. Brewer

Brainerd

Related Topics: MISSISSIPPI RIVER
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