If you are a resident of the city of North Branch and looking to serve, the city is accepting applications for its Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission and its Planning Commission.

During the North Branch City Council meeting Jan. 12, the council approved the appointment of Lynn Wilson to fill one vacant position on the Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission for a three-year term and Ka Bao Jennrich to fill one vacant position on the Planning Commission for a four-year term.

Even with the appointments of Wilson and Jennrich, both the Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission and the Planning Commission have one vacant position each.

Council Member Kelly Neider said she’s talked to some residents who may be interested in a seat on the Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission.

“I have talked to quite few people in the last few weeks. If we can open up the application process again — some people just don’t keep up on what’s going on with city business,” Neider said. “And I have talked to quite a few individuals and I potentially have at least two, maybe three, that are willing to apply here in the next, like, day or two if we open it up. And they’re quality people.”

City Administrator Renae Fry said the city did reach out to previous applicants who applied for an open seat on the Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission and the city didn’t receive any feedback.

GIS planning specialist Nate Sondrol described the role of the Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission.

“The Parks, Trails and Open Space Commission is very active and we’ve got a lot of things going on. The current process going on is doing the strategic plan, looking at all park holdings the city has. They’ll be looking at basically prioritizing improvements to be done in the future,” Sondrol said. “The commission also reviews all types of subdivision developments that come through to determine should a park be located in that area. It takes requests from the general public or from associations to make determinations for park improvements. In a nutshell, you have to be a resident and 18 years of age.”

Fry said applications for the city’s advisory boards and commissions are always available on the city’s website and are always accepted, and they are presented to the council when there is an open seat on any commission. She said when there is an open seat on one of the commissions, the city does post it on its website and social media pages. Besides the website, Fry said applications are available at City Hall and applications can be either emailed, mailed or dropped off at City Hall, 6408 Elm St., North Branch.

Fry said all applications, for either the one open seat on the Park, Trails and Open Space Commission or for the one open seat on the Planning Commission, would be brought back to the council for consideration at its next regular meeting on Jan. 26. Fry said when applicants apply, she will check to see if they would be open to a seat on either the Park, Trails and Open Space Commission or the Planning Commission or both. However, the same individual would not be appointed to both commissions.

In other action, the council approved Robert Streater to a six-year term on the Economic Development Authority and James Baxter to a three-year term on the Water and Light Commission.

Fry noted with the appointment of Streater to the EDA, the EDA has a full board, and with the appointment of Baxter to the Water and Light Commission, the Water and Light Commission also has a full commission.

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