The Garrison City Council completed a number of different items Feb. 9 to move forward with the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority, including a public hearing and a pair of resolutions.

However, there are concerns that Garrison may not have enough applicants for the projects to be approved.

John Schommer presented to the Garrison City Council in July of 2020 about the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP), which helps low-population communities with building improvements.

He explained that cities of less than 1,000 population – Garrison is at 210 as of the 2010 census – can be targeted with the program, with projects up to between $20,000 and $25,000 in cost.

The money is a deferred loan without interest or payments. If the property remains in the same hands and is not sold, transferred, conveyed and/or remains the primary residence, the loan is forgiven after 10 years.

After deciding to send letters out to residents to gauge interest in the program, Garrison Deputy Clerk Amy Vukelich reported that she received 13 responses – seven residential and six businesses.

Vukelich said that in order to do the commercial portion of the project, the city must meet the residential portion first - which is 12 participants. While Garrison has seen a handful more of commercial applications, it has not received more residential ones.

Schommer, who was at the Feb. 9 meeting, said that the small number of applications could hinder the chance of the application being awarded.

The council did move forward with the public hearing at the Feb. 9, as well as designating an area as “slum and blight” and to serve as the local government agent in the program application.

Finally, the city had to approve a conflict-of-interest disclosure form. All three items were approved.

BRIEFS

• Fire Chief Bruce Breun announced and had approved two new hires for the department, Corrie Sehr and Amanda Johnson.

 “I’m as excited for them to start as they are excited to start,” Breun said.

• A public hearing was held on a rezoning request for 5.99 acres on Allen Road. The land is currently general residential and the request is to change it to commercial.

The only public comment was offered by Greg Henninger, who wanted to make sure that surrounding landowners would still be protected.

• The council also approved the annual monitoring agreement with Peoples Security System for $263.88.

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