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Baxter approves squad vehicle purchases

BAXTER — Two Ford police interceptor squad sports utility vehicles (SUVs) were approved for purchase for the Baxter Police Department.

The city council approved the purchase of the two Ford SUVs from the 2014 budget with a cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 for one vehicle and about $26,000 for the second, which will replace the K-9 unit.

In other business, the council:

Heard updates from the council members. Mayor Darrel Olson and Council member Todd Holman reported on the resilient region gathering last week noting the effort brought together five counties with topics on natural resources, land use, transportation, housing and broad band.

Olson said he attended sessions on transportation and changing population. Olson said it was refreshing to see all the organizations working together, which has Region Five reported has leveraged $20 million.

“I think good things will come from it,” Olson said.

Heard the large amounts of snow on intersections and driveway accesses may be something the city considers in future planning. Holman said for safety reasons the city may want to work with Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s Baxter Clinic to accelerate the plan to add a turn lane, which wouldn’t be included until the clinic expanded.

Holman said currently there is a visibility issue.

Planned to meet in the future in a joint session with the utilities commission regarding options to keep sediment out of Whiskey Creek and the Mississippi River. A presentation is expected for a workshop and options for possible Legacy funding. Trevor Walter, public works director, asked if there may be options to work with the Westgate Mall, where there isn’t a pre-treatment pond for water coming from the mall as runoff goes into the wetland by the Northland Arboretum. Walter noted the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District has been successful in getting money for private and public entities in the recent Buffalo Hills project.

Council member Mark Cross wondered about the parking requirements at the mall and if there may be room there since the movie theater inside the mall is now retail space. And Olson noted there is an empty lot in front of the mall that could come into play if necessary.

Met in lengthy back-to-back closed sessions regarding an offer to purchase property and for a zoning violation.

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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