Crow Wing County commissioners appointed Mark Liedl interim head of community services.
After the idea came up at last month's board meeting, Liedl put together a consulting proposal for a two-phase approach.
Brainerd native Taylor Stevenson, 24, announced plans to run for the Minnesota Senate District 10 seat.
A formal announcement is expected Tuesday.
Stevenson was the DFL-endorsed candidate for Minnesota Senate District 12 in 2010.
When a challenging economy made a lakes area couple look at new career options, they seized what might have seemed an unlikely opportunity.
"My husband was in construction when everything kind of crashed in on us," Dawn Pikula said.
Filling the tank is likely to take a bigger bite out of the budget this summer, but living in the Midwest has its advantages.
Gene LaDoucer, AAA spokesman based in Fargo, N.D., said AAA doesn't believe $5 a gallon gas is coming here.
Gary Benjamin drove by the vacant furniture store in northeast Brainerd many times and thought about its potential.
"It was an ideal opportunity," Benjamin said. "All I saw was a nice challenge to come in and do something.
Close-Converse Commercial and Preferred Properties, Brainerd, leased the former Stock Lumber Building to Brock White of Baxter, a construction materials supplier on Forthun Road. Brock White was formerly known as Northland Brick and Fireplace.