City officials will put a call out for bids in possibly building a flat roof on top of the historic water tower to fix a leaking problem.
The Brainerd City Council unanimously approved the move at its meeting Monday.
There has been a long, on-going problem of leaking inside the water tower. Water is penetrating the inner brick structure and leaking beneath the bottom of the bowl.
Tim Caughey, city building official, recommended a cheaper fix of erecting a flat roof near the crown of the tower, not visible from the ground, to displace the rain water before it enters the bowl. The cost would probably be just under $100,000.
That comes cheaper than alternate fixes like sealing the inner brick, which would first require the masonry units be prepared. That came at the cost of an estimated $135,000.
Caughey said building a flat roof would be more of a permanent fix with less maintenance.
He added there is some urgency to making a decision, as the longer it is put off the more costs there are to address the fix.
The water tower is iconic for the area, said councilman Gary Scheeler, noting it’s important to keep it in good shape.
Where the funds would come from is yet to be determined. The vote is to just seek bids to get a more firm cost for the possible project.
In other city council news:
Approved staying with the existing $300,000 project scope for the Safe Routes to School project. The city received a $300,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the project. The idea was brought up to expand the project and construct an additional six to seven blocks of sidewalk at the final cost of $450,000, with the Brainerd School District contributing $75,000.
Corrected the minutes from a meeting held Dec. 19, 2011. The minutes from after council came back into session from a closed meeting were incorrect regarding the approval of the fire equipment operators’ union contract and wage resolution. The mistake was brought forward by resident Jeff Czeczok at the council’s last meeting. Added was “Further to continue to require the $20 vehicle plug-in fee be paid when appropriate and that they are allowed to wash their personal vehicles at the fire station.” Also added was that councilwoman Mary Koep voted against the motion, not in favor as originally documented. The motion was carried.
Approved requiring a street closure/special event application be submitted along with a parade permit application and that the parade permit approval process be concurrent with the event approval process. The move is to provide more consistent and better oversight of the uses of [filtered word] space.
Adjusted the time frame for waiving SAC and WAC fees from 12 months to 24 months.
Accepted with regret the resignation of paid-on-call firefighter Caleb Kreller, and authorized starting the replacement process.
Approved the renewal of the current health insurance plan options, including a $500 deductible option, $1,000 option or $2,500.
Approved minor changes to the city administrator position description. The changes come as current city administrator Theresa Goble announced a couple of months ago her plans of retirement early next year. Officials will begin advertising for the position Oct. 22.
Held a public hearing to consider the proposed 2013 assessments for five street improvements. Mike Murphy, a property owner on Southwest Fourth Street, requested that part be taken off his assessment since it was worked on about 15 years ago after storms damaged the road. Murphy was the only person to talk during the public hearing. The council then adopted the resolution ordering the assessments.
Held the first reading of the charter amendment to change the duties of the city attorney. The wording changes the requirement to attend city meetings when requested, instead of every meeting held. The changes come as the current city attorney Tom Fitzpatrick announced his retirement at the last meeting, effective Dec. 31. Another amendment is that the city attorney will give legal opinions when requested by the city administrator or city council. Removed from that list is any officer of the city. If another officer of the city would want a written legal opinion, they must approach the administrator or the council first.
Held the first reading on adding the “community center” definition to the zoning ordinance, and adding community center as a conditional use permit in residential zoning districts. A public hearing will be held Nov. 4. Look for the full story in Wednesday’s Dispatch.