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Picture Pine River in plaid

At a previous meeting, a Pine River Revitilization (PRR) group member suggested the city of Pine River should claim official city colors. It was suggested that Pine River is already locally associated with red and black “buffalo plaid,” the pattern often associated with lumberjacks.

At its next meeting, the group approved of the theme, if used within reason.

PRR members discussed using the color theme on banners and flags throughout town to attract bikers and motorists from the Paul Bunyan Trail and Minnesota Highway 371 down through town. The group also discussed installing tall flag poles at the two corners of Barclay Avenue northeast of Highway 371, and one more at the end of Barclay, near the dam.

According to research, flag poles of this size can cost from $2,100 to $3,000 or more. John Wetrosky will consult with the owner of a used flag pole located near Nisswa. Mike Hansen agreed to determine the height a flag pole would need to be to be visible from 371.

Other ideas to attract passersby into the city of Pine River include the restructuring of Barclay Avenue to include bicycle lanes. Initial discussions with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials were described in PRR minutes as “luke warm.” PRR had presented the idea of combining reconstruction of the Pine River Dam Bridge with the downtown improvement program; however, possible bridge reconstruction has been delayed.

Wetrosky also attended a MnDOT meeting March 21 to learn about two MnDOT funding programs called the Transportation Economic Development (TED) project and the Corridor Investment Management Strategy (CIMS) Pilot Solicitation program.

Wetrosky explained that the TED program seemed to be more devoted to building infrastructure, whereas CIMS includes a category serving resorts and tourism, but only through state trunk highway projects. Grants through CIMS are a minimum $200,000 and give priority to safety, bicycle/pedestrian health effects, noise control, induced economic activity and other economic and environmental items.

Wetrosky said they require a minimum 10 percent match from applicants. These grants are very competitive. City officials will research both grant programs.