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Breezy Point: Council accepts grant, institutes lake monitoring program

The boat landings on Pelican and Little Pelican lakes in Breezy Point will soon have hired lake monitors standing by to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species after the Breezy Point City Council accepted a grant from Crow Wing County at it...

Theresa Bourke/Echo JournalMayor Tom Lillehei recognized Josh Cameron, who has retired after serving with North Crow Wing County First Responders, for his service. Pictured, from left: Breezy Point Police Officer Jason Rieber; Cameron; Terri Spielman, Cameron's aunt; and Lillehei.
Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal Mayor Tom Lillehei recognized Josh Cameron, who has retired after serving with North Crow Wing County First Responders, for his service. Pictured, from left: Breezy Point Police Officer Jason Rieber; Cameron; Terri Spielman, Cameron's aunt; and Lillehei.

The boat landings on Pelican and Little Pelican lakes in Breezy Point will soon have hired lake monitors standing by to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species after the Breezy Point City Council accepted a grant from Crow Wing County at its Monday, March 6, meeting.

Crow Wing County was awarded money from the state to facilitate various aquatic invasive species programs. Through this grant, the county has budgeted 1,200 hours of monitoring time for the four landings on Pelican Lake and the one on Little Pelican Lake.

To implement this program, the county hires between 60-75 monitors who are flexible to go to any assigned lake. The Pelican Lakes Association, however, believes it has a better idea of the lakes' needs and proposed scheduling its own monitors for Pelican and Little Pelican lakes. Crow Wing County agreed and has granted the lakes association the power to administer the program.

However, to receive the grant money, a local government unit must administer the funds. The Breezy Point City Council voted Monday to sign the county's delegation agreement and become the local governmental unit to sponsor the monitoring efforts.

According to the agreement, the council will act as a pass-through financial agent to the Pelican Lakes Association for the purpose of funding boat landing monitors for the next three years. Once grant funds are exhausted, the council's obligation will end. The council can terminate the agreement at any time with 30 days notice.

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"I think it's the right thing for the city to do," council member Michael Moroni said, noting this agreement doesn't cost the city anything and doesn't create much extra work for the council.

Council member Gary Bakken thanked the Pelican Lakes Association for all its work keeping the lakes clean.

"I'd just like to thank ... the association," Bakken said. "You guys work so very hard on our beautiful, pristine Pelican Lake. I'm very thankful."

In other business Monday, the council:

• Recognized first responder Josh Cameron, who has retired after serving with North Crow Wing County First Responders for 11 years. Mayor Tom Lillehei presented Cameron with a plaque.

• Decided to purchase a tax forfeit lot - lot 73, 13th addition to Breezy Point Estates, located behind city hall - from Crow Wing County for $600.

• Hired Pratt's Affordable Excavating for the Whitebirch Six paving project with a bid of $199,699.

In February, the Breezy Point Police Department responded to 158 incidents, including 14 medical calls, three traffic arrests and one theft.

Related Topics: BREEZY POINTBREEZY POINT CITY COUNCILPELICAN LAKECROW WING COUNTY
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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