After a successful virtual ice fishing tournament at the end of January, the Brainerd Jaycees captured the city’s award of Community Members of the Month.

Normally awarded to a single resident, Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux said at the city council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16, this was a special scenario in which to celebrate a group of volunteers and individuals.

“We are celebrating the Brainerd Jaycees for their execution of the ice fishing contest,” he said.

This year’s Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza, normally occurring on Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay, went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 4,600 anglers took part this year, virtually submitting 10,500 photos of 4,198 fish caught all over Minnesota.

As a Jaycee himself, Badeaux expressed appreciation to the ice fishing volunteers, as he said it’s one event he doesn’t normally volunteer for himself. Normally there are close to 500 volunteers out on the ice.

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“This is a huge event that takes a lot of people, and this year with about 50 people people, they were able to pull it off and take that and shift it completely online and make it something that could be done statewide,” Badeaux said. “... It took a lot more time and effort to take care of than it normally would, with a much smaller group of people.”

The rest of the council members applauded at the conclusion of Badeaux’s presentation, made during a virtual council meeting.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

Approved a new lease with the office of Congressman Pete Stauber for office space at city hall for $200 a month from Jan. 3, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2023.

Approved a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 31 (administrative support staff) for 2021-22, with a 2.5% cost of living adjustment for each year.

Approved a pay increase for City Administrator Jennifer Bergman following her 2020 performance review. Bergman will move from step 1 to step 2 of the city’s wage grid.

Authorized a $500 donation to the Crow Wing County Historical Society to be paid out of the special projects budget. The city has donated between $300-$500 a year to the historical society since 2006 but did not get a request to do so in 2020.

Authorized staff to seek bids for the 2021 seal coat project, which will include portions of Buffalo Hills Lane; Mississippi Drive; Jackson Street; Oak Street; Williams Street; Northwest Third, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth streets; James Street; Maple Street and East River Road.

Approved a professional services agreement with Braun Intertec to conduct soil investigation on the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail project projected for construction this year.

Scheduled a joint meeting with the Economic Development Authority at 5 p.m. March 8 in the fire department training room.

Approved a resolution supporting designation as a Telecommuter Forward! community through the Department of Employment and Economic Development, meaning the city is dedicated to the promotion of telecommuting options.



THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.