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Baxter looks at traffic safety, driveway placement in access management

BAXTER — Managing access with land development has the city of Baxter considering traffic flow on main streets, driveway placement and safety.

In March, the city council asked staff to look into access management. Tuesday, the council received an update in its work session before the regular meeting.

Staff determined the zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations have access related requirements but not a management plan.

With access spacing guidelines, residential driveways could be restricted to local roads and wouldn’t have direct access to main arteries or urban or minor collector streets. Guidelines for commercial driveways call for no direct access on principal arteries and spacing of an eighth- to a quarter-mile on major roads along with a minimum of 500 feet to 200 feet spacing on collector roads and 100 feet on local streets.

Staff included traffic standards that seek to avoid congestion, safety hazards and excessive traffic through residential areas with a minimum distance of 25 feet between driveways and not less than 30 feet from a driveway to a street intersection.

In other business, the council:

Approved the extension for the Prairie Bay mobile vending permit to operate a food truck through the end of 2014. Prairie Bay has six approved spots in the city and requested using one site as a moving location to coincide with special events contingent upon written permission from the landowner. The city continues to work on an ordinance and the temporary approval for Prairie Bay would end with the adoption of an ordinance.

Approved a two-year lease agreement with the Baxter Snowmobile Club to use the former public works building in the industrial park. The club has leased the building since 2012.

Approved a purchase of a truck for public works of $28,724 from Nelson Auto Center in Fergus Falls with the state contract cost with free delivery. The state contract bid was less than two area dealership quotes.

Approved a tobacco sales license to a new business called Vapor North for the period of May 1 through June 30, 2015. Vapor North, which sells electronic cigarettes, is going into 14303 Edgewood Drive, Suite 4.

Approved a police liaison contract with Forestview Middle School. The liaison officer works with the school “to prevent crime on campus, protect students and staff and provides a safe and secure school environment.”

The liaison officer averages four hour a day when school is in session. The total officer cost is $88,185 in 2014 and $91,495 in 2015. The school district share of the costs will be $29,339 in 2014 and $30,440 in 2015.

The liaison officer also serves as a consultant for the school district on crime prevention, law enforcement and community you services.

Authorized a Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development contract for economic development services for $21,500, a $3,000 increase from 2013. Funding in 2012 for the services was $17,500. In 2011, the funding level was $21,500.

Set the seventh annual stormwater public information meeting 7 p.m. May 20 p.m.

Met in closed session to develop an offer of purchase for property with 14 parcels on Franklin Drive, Woida Road, Clearwater Road, College Road and in the Aspen Ridge plat and an outlot at Shanandoah Office Park.

Met in closed session, to discuss threatened litigation for connection to existing city services. The city noted the landowner retained legal counsel. The parcels to be discussed at 5472 Mapleton Road and the John Tanner and Rhonda Baptiste parcel located west of Dellwood and south of Novotny Road.

Approved a mayoral proclamation for the week of April 6-12 as National Volunteer Week.

Agreed to contract with a provider to sample the indoor air quality at city hall in May. Staff reported some city offices seasonally have high enough moisture to cause the carpet to curl. Total estimated cost is $750.

Adjourned to an April 10 meeting for a performance evaluation of the city administrator.

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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