Voted most likely in high school ... "not to be voted most likely for anything," my irreverent humor (and blatant disregard for the Oxford comma) is only surpassed by a flair for producing online videos to accompany unbiased articles about Crow Wing County about, say, how your taxes are being spent, by your elected officials, on issues or topics that matter to YOU.
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The Jenkins City Council may have burned bridges with Crow Wing County when it recently withdrew from a cost share agreement with the county for road work after months of consideration. "Jenkins is balking at the local cost share," County Administrator Tim Houle said at the Tuesday, May 21, committee of the whole meeting of the board. "And obviously that's disappointing." The County Road 145 improvement project included a higher cost share to the city than anticipated, so the council attempted for several months to renegotiate the terms.
Crow Wing County is seeking bids from contractors to perform repairs and improvements to the historic Pequot Lakes fire tower it bought from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. County commissioners heard at the Tuesday, May 21, committee of the whole meeting from the land services department about the future plans for the planned tourist attraction. "We just sent the (request for proposal) to the State Historic Preservation Office," county environmental services supervisor Ryan Simonson said.
Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Koering questioned a county manager extensively about hiring a social worker because of what he said were his concerns about the cost to taxpayers. The recommendation at the Tuesday, May 14, meeting was for the commissioners to approve the human resources department action to hire a social worker due to the amount of work. "The economy is good. I would think there's lots of jobs for people, but yet here we are hiring another social worker, and I guess I want to know why that is," Koering said.
It's about to get a little more crowded on Crow Wing County roads in Breezy Point. The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners approved the resort community's request to allow golf carts on stretches of county highways 4, 11 and 39 within the city limits. "If somebody is riding their golf cart and they cross out of Breezy Point and they're on a county road, they are breaking the law," Commissioner Paul Koering said.
A Crow Wing County road improvement project with a long and contentious history was recently adopted by the county board in the county's highway improvement plan. Commissioners unanimously voted at its Tuesday, April 23, meeting to include County Road 115—also known as Ojibwa and Nashway roads—in the five-year plan. "This is finally coming together ... after years of working on that. It's been a long time ... but it's become part of our promise to the public," County Engineer Tim Bray said Thursday.
Crow Wing County taxpayers who had early April appointments with AARP tax aides will have another chance at the Brainerd Public Library to receive free help with their property tax refunds. The volunteers have been preparing income tax forms, and rent credit and property tax refund forms for low- to middle-income people, with special emphasis for those older than 60 years. "We're fortunate they're going to be here an additional day to work on property tax returns," said Jenny Hill, manager of Brainerd Public Library. "That was added in response to people asking about it."
Jerry Meadows just wants to return home, but the disabled veteran who arrived on foot last month in St. Cloud from Bemidji will not—not when there's still a job to do, a goal to reach. The 61-year-old Air Force veteran walked into St. Cloud for the first time April 5 after leaving from Bemidji March 14 to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. "I didn't raise the funds that should have been raised ... and so I'm going to have to do it again," he said of his initial walk that raised, as of Tuesday, April 30, about $4,000 of his $5,000 goal.
The spring wildfire season in Minnesota just started, but already more than half a dozen grass fires were reported recently in Brainerd and Pillager. "Since Friday, we responded to seven grass fires—Baxter and then mainly the southern part of Crow Wing County—Long Lake Township and Crow Wing Township," Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said. From January to April 5, there were 7,091 wildfires nationwide compared to 11,195 wildfires in the same period in 2018, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Kurt Niederloh didn't finish the 11th annual Run for the Lakes in Nisswa last April. He feels he's just lucky he survived the Brainerd Jaycees event. The 53-year-old from Hastings had a cardiac arrest during the 10K race, but is alive this Easter partly because of a pair of good Samaritans in running shoes who administered CPR. "I was dead, so if they hadn't saved me, I would've still made the newspaper ... as an obituary," Niederloh said jokingly.
Jon Kolstad feels vindicated after the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs agreed this week Crow Wing County violated his rights when a land services job opening was not posted. The 54-year-old from Merrifield claimed the county violated his rights under the Veterans Preference Act "by failing to engage in a competitive hiring process that included fully qualified veteran candidates for the position of Environmental Services Supervisor."