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Budget constraints lead to changes in street markings

BAXTER — Budget constraints had Baxter officials wondering where cutbacks could come as street markings are painted.

Fog lines. Crosswalk markings. Stop bars.

What’s certain is a change in what motorists may be familiar with now.

“To do what is here is $42,000 and that’s not feasible because it’s not in the budget,” said Trevor Walter, public works director.

Painting all the street traffic controls required by the state would cost the city $22,175, staff estimated. City streets with average daily traffic of 6,000 vehicles or more and all streets with three lanes or more have to be striped. The city previously striped city streets below that required amount.

Tuesday Walter said if the city eliminated all solid paint bars at stop signs and changed from zebra stripes to two 6-inch solid bars for crosswalks, currently striped streets could be repainted. With those changes, the annual striping costs would decrease to $30,154. The council budgeted $31,000 for 2012.

Other options were to stripe through streets and not dead-ends. Council member Jim Klein said he preferred fog lines, at the edge of the street to be included. Walter said most residential streets do not have fog lines and if the zebra crosswalk markings are replaced and stop bars removed, repainting what is currently marked, including fog lines, and a few extras would cost $32,000.

Council member Mark Cross said the city does need a policy and he suggested the subject should go to the public utilities commission with the city striping what is required along with a few extras for the $32,000.

Gordon Heitke, city administrator, said he was still struggling a little with the idea of dropping all zebra stripes for crosswalks and perhaps some should be kept.

A written policy for city-wide street striping is expected to return to the council.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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