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Baxter City Council: Temporary service connection approved for Tanner property

BAXTER — With a potential buyer for commercial property on Highway 371, a Baxter property owner sought and received a way to have water and sewer onsite.

At issue is the Tanner commercial property on Highway 371. The city council met in a lengthy closed work session and then in open session voted to approve an agreement for a temporary connection to city water and sanitary sewer with two conditions.

Conditions included adding a specific timeline for a regular connection to the city services and an additional donation of 33 feet along Dellwood Drive.

Property owner John Tanner submitted a variance application to allow an on-site septic system and domestic well on the commercial property at the southwest corner of Novotny Road and Dellwood Drive.

Trevor Walter, public works director, recommended the requirement of city water and sewer for commercial development.

In the March 5 Utilities Commission report, Tanner was noted with a concern the property was being taxed at a commercial rate and a building permit couldn’t be issued and thus the property couldn’t be sold without water and sewer.

The Utilities Commission noted 2015 is the earliest timeline for the extension of city services to the property.

Tuesday’s action directed staff to draft an agreement for temporary water and sanitary sewer connections to the Tanner commercial property.

The Baxter Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a March 11 public hearing on a variance request.

The Utilities Commission members had an extensive conversation on options to allow the taxpayer use of the property without using a variance for a well and septic system.

Cost estimates for temporary municipal service ranged from $24,272 to $34,117 depending on the size of the water pipe. In a staff report, the city noted the property owner would be required to pay the assessments to hook up to a permanent service.

In other business, the council:

Approved regular employment status for Josh Doty, community development director, and Kelly Steele, assistant city administrator/clerk, following the completion of their probationary periods.

Approved a Bolton & Menk proposal for engineering and bidding services not to exceed $13,500. The project is related to the water treatment plant replacement of its chlorine generation system.

Awarded the low quote of $24,685 to Pratt’s Affordable Excavating for a 2014 Baxter Drive and Charles Street trail connection.

Approved permits for retail sales of fireworks to B.J. Alan Co. at Mills Fleet Farm, B.J. Alan Co. at Menards and TNT Fireworks at Westside Liquor.

Met in closed session before and after the regular meeting to develop an offer to buy property.

RENEE RICHARDSON 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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