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Baxter: Council to host public hearing on unified fund proposal

Baxter City Council members hear from residents during Tuesday’s city council session at city hall. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER—Public comments on the potential of Baxter participating in a unified fund for economic development is planned later this month.

Tuesday, the council voted in favor of hosting a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 to get input, whether from those in favor or opposed. At issue is Baxter's existing $435,000 revolving loan fund.

This fall, the council heard a presentation from the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. to add the money into a unified fund that could create a pool of nearly $4 million. Representatives from BLAEDC and business leaders said the Baxter's current funds can be difficult to access because of requirements tied to federal Minnesota Investment Fund dollars.

Last month, the council with three members present raised additional concerns about joining a unified fund and tabled a vote on a public hearing. Tuesday, with all the council members present, the vote was unanimously in favor of hosting the public hearing.

In other business, the council,

Noted an 11 a.m. Saturday dedication of the All Veterans Memorial is planned in Brainerd, between the historic Crow Wing County Courthouse and the Post Office.

Met in closed session to discuss the Brainerd Public Utilities annexation issue with the city of Brainerd.

Appointed Josh Ewald, Dustin Stark, Jaden Howard, Logan Tabaka, Ben Krall and Alex Haapajoki as seasonal warming house attendants for the 2017-18 season. The city's warming house attendants are paid $10 or $11 per hour depending on the number of seasons they've worked for the city. The seasonal employees, up to six annually, staff warming houses at Oscar Kristofferson and Loren Thompson parks from mid-December to mid-March.

Accepted a $300 donation to assist in paying for body cameras from the Lakes Area Law Enforcement Association. The city noted the association is constantly assisting the police department in a variety of ways, including traffic and crowd control and the Shop with a Cop event.

Accepted a $500 Crow Wing Energized grant to the Baxter Police Department to purchase a bicycle rack for the department, which will be used to transport department bikes while on duty.

Approved the 2017 North Water Tower plans with two changes to the scope of work: changes to coatings 7.1 and 7.3 to match 7.2.

Approved the Bolton and Menk engineering services fee amendment for the 2017 Chip Seal Improvements Project in the increased amount of $14,000 for a new total of $57,000.

Accepted the 2019 Greenwood Road improvements feasibility report for street work west from Cypress Drive to the cul-de-sac between Basswood and Industrial Park roads. The two-lane rural street has fewer than 1,000 vehicles per day. The city reported it functions as a private drive to 64 residential units. The street was listed in fair to poor condition currently and is scheduled for a mill and overlay of pavement in the next two years.

Approved the Short Elliott Hendrickson agreement for general engineering services.

Approved the Tri-City Paving Inc. change order of $12,705.52 related to 2017 street work and Excelsior Road project and approved the partial pay estimate of $371,870.32 for those projects.

Accepted the Annual Water Audit Implementation Report.

Approved a right-of-way limited-use agreement to maintain an existing drive and replace an existing sign for Lakewood Church, 6284 Fairview Road.

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