The Brainerd City Council approved a turkey plan Monday.
Council members discussed whether the Christmas turkey or ham for employees should be taken out of the budget with an eye toward belt tightening.
Dan Vogt, city administrator, said the expenditure is in the budget with about $2,000.
Council member Gary Scheeler suggested cutting back to a 10-pound turkey. Vogt said cost to the city of the Christmas turkey or ham for 150 full-time and part-time employees is about $15 per employee. Council member Bob Olson said he was not going to oppose but would like to have an attorney review the legality of the gift. The council voted to distribute the gift pending review by the city attorney.
In other business, the council:
Approved award of $1.25 million in general obligation bonds. The 10-year bonds were issued to finance water and stormwater, curb and gutter in the city with 65 percent paid through assessment and 35 percent through tax levy.
Bids were received at an interest rate of 3.68. In October, consultants estimated 3.52 percent interest rate but because of the comeback on the stock market less money is being put into the bond market.
Bond money will be used for improvements, including North Fourth Street, H Street, Third Avenue Northeast, Northern Pacific Center improvement, utility improvements at Highways 18 and 25 and utility work at Lexington Manufacturing and an alley off Gillis Avenue.
Voted to vacate a portion of William Street between Riverside School and the PORT Group Home and to protect easements under the street.
Approved payment of $312,305 to various contractors as part of public facilities project. The council also accepted change orders to remove garage doors from the Water and Light building, being renovated for the police department, and a second change order for removal of concrete to install plumbing.
Council member Bob Olson said the council and public should know about the change orders, such as the one for $360 and one for $2,640, in public buildings and they were approving the change orders after the fact.
Gary Otterstad, CAM owner, said sometimes there is only a day to make a decision and the council only meets every two weeks. Otterstad said the contractor can be sent home but it will cost more money.
Olson said a special meeting could be called in that case.
Approved a purchase assistance agreement for the Piehl property. The closing date is expected to be Dec. 12. A down payment of $10,000 has been made and $70,000 is needed at closing. Property owner Roger Piehl wanted additional security from the city that payments from the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority would be made should there be a funding shortfall. The council agreed the HRA could come to the city for assistance should that be necessary.
Noted the next council session will be 7 p.m. Monday for the truth in taxation public hearing.
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