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Trail options by Forestview identified for grant application

BAXTER — Trail projects by Forestview Middle School identified for Safe Route to Schools grants.

The Baxter City Council heard there are two main project options for the grant and an alternate option. All are in the Forestview Middle School area. One is along Highway 48, also known as Highland Scenic Road, between Knollwood and Parkwood drives. Cost estimate is $43,755.

The other is along Mountain Ash Drive and Mapleton Road, which may be familiar to people as part of the route of the annual Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure. This is the longest stretch of the possible projects and has an estimated cost of $202,264.

Another option is a trail leg and school sidewalk on the school property side of Knollwood Drive near the intersection of Mapleton Road. The estimated cost is $19,454. The school sidewalk is estimated to cost $23,285.

The grant pays for 80 percent of the project with a 20 percent local cost. The council heard the school district will provide the 20 percent match for the sidewalk on its property and Crow Wing County may participate for a cross-walk flasher system although there were no commitments toward that end at this point. The cross-walk system is estimated to cost $21,120.

In a Wildflower, Franklin and Woida street project updates, the council heard survey crews have been concentrating on Wildflower and Franklin with progress slowed by snow cover and cold temperatures. Nineteen easement documents for Woida Road properties are being recorded.

As part of the trio of street projects, the city council supported an agreement with Lakeland Veterinary Hospital regarding an easement for a trail on Woida Road. Lakeland Veterinary expressed a concern for the trees planted in the project area. The trees have been there about 15 years. Council member Mark Cross asked if a tree spade could be used to move the two trees scheduled for removal. Aric Welch, consulting engineer from Widseth Smith Nolting, said that might work. The council agreed a safety fence could be established during the trail construction to protect the remaining trees and monitor them for five years. Trees damaged during construction would be replaced by the city one time. The council also agreed to replace the two trees it does remove and warranty the trees for a year after planting.

Approved a Bolton & Menk 2014 contract for chip sealing and seal coating engineering services on a 3-1 vote. Council member Jim Klein was opposed. Council member Rob Moser was absent. Baxter is interested in preparing plans and specifications for chip and seal coating and could be done in conjunction with Crow Wing County’s seal coating plans for 2014.

The city has $370,000 budgeted for the project. In discussing the project and surface needs, the city was looking at users, including people with child strollers and in-line skaters.

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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