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Pine City Discovery Garden nears Completion, and more news

People traveling on Mainstreet in Pine City may see some new pops of color in the Discovery Garden by the Snake River.

Formerly the rotary garden, the Pine County Master Gardeners have been revitalizing the space as part of a memorial for Cindy Novy, who passed away in 2020.

Recently, master gardeners have been putting the finishing touches according to Pine County Master Gardener Coordinator Terry Salmela. “About a dozen master gardeners planted over 700 native and perennial plants on June 17. In May, we planted 15 trees and shrubs,” said Salmela. “We had a drip irrigation system installed, and we also mulched it with about 10 yards of wood chippings. It looks almost done.”

Salmela says they hope to finish up some lighting and other landscaping, including the addition of a picnic table they purchased with donated funds.

Outside of the beautification it provides to Pine City, the Discover Garden will also provide educational opportunities for master gardeners in the future.

Pine City Discovery Garden photo by Joe Keyport

Braham Town Hall update

The Braham City Council gave residents a mid-year update on city goings-on during a town hall meeting last week.

According to Mayor Nate George, a street reconstruction effort on West Central Drive is a priority project for the city after receiving over $10 million in water infrastructure funding in a state bonding bill.

Work on that project is tentatively scheduled for the spring and summer of next year.

George also discussed what the future might hold for a recently purchased lot at Third Street Southwest and Elmhurst Avenue South.

“The intended use of that lot is going to be for future expansion for public works and the police department storage. They are running out of space for vehicles and such. Also, some potential expansion for the wastewater treatment plant,” said George.

The purchase agreement also states the land must have some public use. Ideas include a permanent compost site or a dog park.

The council also plans to adopt a cannabinoid ordinance, repealing a moratorium set in October of 2022, during its regular July 11 meeting.

Pine Center for the Arts Opens New Gallery

Visual artists Jeffrey Benny and Patti O'Brien will be opening the July gallery at the Pine Center for the Arts this Friday.

Benny says that his goal with photography is to convey emotion and give the viewer a window into something they may have never seen before.

O’Brien has been a painter for most of her life.

“My love of the beauty and vibrancy of flowers began as a child while wandering through my father's florist shop in Duluth. While I paint in a variety of mediums, my preference for painting botanicals is watercolor on 300# hot press paper. I also enjoy painting botanicals on location in colored pencils,” said O’Brien.

The public is invited to an artists’ reception from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, July 7.

The gallery will continue throughout the month of July. Regular gallery hours are 10 am-5 pm, Thursday-Sunday.

Mora City Council approves 2024 law enforcement budget

The Mora City Council accepted the proposed Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office law enforcement budget for 2024.

According to Chief Deputy Kevin Braiedy, the budget reflects 24-hour coverage from five Sheriff’s Office employees. It’s up 3.2% from 2023.

Braiedy said the budget increase is due in part to having to compete with metro-area money for employee retention and recruitment.

The budget also accounts for a necessary squad car radar system and mobile data terminal replacement, which totals $9,000.

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