Residents and businesses in need of rehabilitation will soon have access to grant funds after the Garrison City Council accepted a grant of $201,250 from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The action took place at the Nov. 9 meeting of the council after a presentation by John Schommer of the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority, who outlined the details. The grant will “address health and safety” needs, according to Schommer.
For businesses, it will be an 80/20 split or a maximum of $30,000 for a project. An environmental review is still needed as well as comments from local tribal entities. Following that, applications will be reviewed.
Other major city business included the need for policing in Garrison and improvements planned for the Pike Point boat landing.
The city of Garrison has been investigating the possibility of contracting for part-time law enforcement services. The city’s policing needs are covered by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department.
Cuyuna Police Chief Jesse Smith was present to talk about his city’s police department, which formed in 2000. He addressed the possibility of Garrison obtaining policing services from Cuyuna. Although it has not yet been approved by the Cuyuna City Council, Smith estimated it would cost Garrison approximately $53,261 for a 20-hour work week in the first year. Cuyuna is currently down two officers.
“It’s primarily traffic control and drug issues we have here,” said Mayor Loren Larson.
Smith said the records show that Garrison had 682 calls to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office in 2020.
Larson told Smith that more council discussion is needed and that the budget will be set in December.
“I hope it’s something we can work out,” Larson said.
At the council meeting to discuss improvements at Pike Point boat landing were Shena Matrious and Jamie Edwards from the Mille Lacs Band. The work, cleaning out trees and vegetation, is a joint venture between the Mille Lacs Band, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the city of Garrison. A permit was approved and a draft agreement created, according to Edwards.
“I am really excited about it,” said Larson. “It can be an enhancement to the whole community.”
Matrious cautioned the council about any expansion to the planned project. “Gravesites are everywhere,” she said. “Keep that in mind.”
• Garrison Fire Chief Bruce Breun reported 19 fire calls in October. “That’s a lot quieter than it’s been,” he noted. Breun asked the council to raise the retirement amount for fire department members from $4,600 to $5,000, which was approved.
• Members approved an $8,700 study of the fire hall and its future needs. A grant will cover $5,000 of that study with the city and fire department picking up the remainder.
• Approved were a permit for Ducks Unlimited Chapter 11 to hold an event at the VFW on Dec. 4; and a contract for auditing services from CliftonLarsonAllen for $10,360, while noting the services for 2022 are up $1,015.
• The city accepted a donation of $9,393 from the Garrison Commercial Club for city holiday decorations. The Commercial Club reported that it is holding a kids’ Christmas party from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the community center.