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Deblon retires as Baxter city planner

BAXTER — Baxter Mayor Darrel Olson expressed appreciation for the service of Bill Deblon, who retired last week from his role as community development director.

Deblon joined Baxter in 2006 after spending two decades with the city of Robbinsdale. The city also recognized Gladys Petersen also retired after 13 years serving on city commissions and committees, most recently with the parks commission.

In other business, the council:

Heard topics for a 2013 town meeting, scheduled April 27, may include topics such as: a changing Baxter with census analysis, comprehensive plan update, local options sales tax and infrastructure needs, leaf drop-off and compost site, Isle Drive extension project, among other topics.

Accepted the Excelsior Road stormwater study from Widseth Smith Nolting, which include recommendations to solve occasional flooding affecting properties on Excelsior Road between Firewood Drive and Forest Drive.

Changed city hall hours to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. City hall previously opened at 7:30 a.m. with limited services but the city reported there is now a small amount of traffic at the earlier hour, which was previously added to accommodate builders, developers and contractors.

Approved labor contracts with two labor groups, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSME) for no change in wages or benefits from the 2008-2010 contract. The new contract covered the 2011-2012 labor agreement.

The city also reported a decision and award was issued in the arbitration matter between the city and the Law Enforcement Labor Services for a zero percent general wage increase and no increase in benefits in 2011 and 2012. Olson and Council member Jim Klein, who have family members employed with the city, both abstained from voting on the labor agreements.

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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