The city of Brainerd will be looking for another interim city planner.
The Brainerd City Council Monday unanimously accepted, with regret, a letter of resignation from interim City Planner Dale Powers, who will be leaving Brainerd on Jan. 2 for a position in Illinois.
"I have found working for you to be the experience of a lifetime and regret leaving at this time," Powers wrote in his resignation letter. He offered to continue helping the city via e-mail from Jan. 5 - April 30, if the city chooses.
Council member Bob Olson said he would like to keep Powers on full-time with the city, if it's possible. There was no further discussion by the city council.
Powers was hired as a temporary replacement for Brainerd City Planner and Community Development Coordinator Mike Brethorst, who is serving with the Minnesota Army National Guard in Bosnia.
In other action, the council:
Had a moment of silence in memory of Curt Eastlund, the Minnesota Department of Transportation project engineer who died in a vehicle accident on Oct. 24.
Adjourned to a closed union negotiation strategy session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Set a joint council meeting with the Crow Wing Township Board at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Crow Wing Town Hall.
Approved, by a 6-1 vote, $1,000 toward a Brainerd and Baxter housing study to be done by the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Voting against the motion was council member Mary Koep, who said she wasn't convinced a plan would accomplish anything. Koep also said she couldn't approve even $1,000 when the city has financial needs for basic services.
Adopted a resolution setting the assessments for the Highway 371 frontage road project at Brainerd Medical Center at $70,000 by a 5-1 vote, with Olson voting against and Council President Jim Dehen abstaining.
Directed staffers to contact the city attorney and city auditor to determine the city's position concerning funds in the partially self-funded health insurance plan, which the city had between 1991-2001, with the understanding that the city may need to go to the state auditor's office for a determination. Former Brainerd Police officer Larry Helsene has questioned if past employees who contributed to the plan would receive a refund since he is no longer in the plan.
Adjusted, by a 6-1 vote, the 2003 budget template to the actual numbers for comparison to the proposed 2004 budget. Olson voting against adjusting the template, saying the 2004 budget hasn't addressed the fire department's needs. Council member Mary Koep noted the 2003 budget template adjustment had nothing to do with what will or won't be cut from the 2004 budget. The adjustment is for comparison purposes only. "Any changes anyone wants to fight for, they can still do that," said Koep.
Approved a $25,000 loan to Nor-Pak Industries from the city's revolving loan fund at 5.25 percent interest over seven years.
Set an assessment hearing at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 for the 2003 sidewalk reconstruction project.
Approved $6,650 to Pike Plumbing and Heating of Brainerd for repairs to the Street and Sewer Department's steamer.
Approved selling a 1994 13-passenger minibus.
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