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Council signs resolution of support for library funding

Jon Henke, Crosslake’s director of parks, recreation and libraries, visited the Breezy Point City Council Monday night, March 4, to request support in reinstating $20,000 in Kitchigami Regional Library System (KRLS) funding lost from Pequot Lakes and Crosslake libraries.

The KRLS board of directors recently cut the funding when Crow Wing County approved a budget $20,000 less than KRLS’ request.

The council unanimously passed a resolution of support requesting the libraries get the funding back.

“Crosslake and Pequot Lakes libraries serve the library needs of city residents in Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Fifty Lakes, Emily, Jenkins and Manhattan Beach, and also the townships of Ideal, Gail, Jenkins, Pelican, Timothy, Fairfield and Mission,” the resolution states. “All together these communities provide $230,836 or 44 percent of the $539,002 budgeted for library expenditures in Crow Wing County for 2013.”

By contrast, the $20,000 the libraries are requesting constitutes only 3.79 percent of the budget, the resolution states.

In the past the funding constituted all or nearly all the money the libraries spent on new materials.

Henke listed that Breezy Point residents pay $20,026 in taxes that go to KRLS.

Crosslake and Pequot Lakes libraries are not considered member libraries of KRLS, but associate libraries. KRLS board chair Neal Gaalswyk said in a phone interview that the board felt funding should be cut from associate libraries before it was cut from member libraries.

Public safety

Breezy Point Police Chief Kevin Merschman reported a total of 130 calls in February. Those included 51 traffic-related incidents, 15 assisting another agency, eight animal-related calls, six accidents and 41 miscellaneous.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Was met with a split vote on whether to purchase a new mower for the sewer department. Council member Tom Lillehei and mayor JoAnn Weaver were in favor of the purchase, while council members Diane Williams and Scott Willer were opposed. Council member Otto Schmid was absent. The council will readdress the matter in April.

• Approved a police contract with Pelican Township and renewed a paramedic agreement with North Memorial.

• Decided the city will offer mailbox installation for a $30 fee, along with the $60 swing-up mailbox support the city currently sells. The city has had some issues with snow removal and mailbox damage. Allowing staff to install mailboxes for a fee would ensure they were installed properly, city administrator Joe Rudberg told the council in a memo. The city works with landowners to repair properly installed mailboxes damaged by snow removal.

• Approved a revised capital improvement parks plan. Revisions to the plan included exploring an 18-hole disc golf course, rather than nine-hole, and moving that project to 2014. For 2013 the plan was amended for the acquisition of two Harmony Park musical instruments. A vendor was at city hall with models on Feb. 28. When the committee decides which to purchase, it will bring a recommendation to the council.