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Call it a good neighbor policy. Just as good neighbors help each other out by occasionally sharing tools or other household items, the cities of Baxter and Brainerd entered into a service sharing agreement last week. By doing so, the two governments demonstrated they’re more interested in efficiency than any outdated notions of rivalry that might exist between the adjoining cities.

It’s unlikely Brainerd and Baxter will ever merge. They each have a distinct history, and frankly, we sense the citizens of each community are proud to call their respective cities home. However, the sharing of personnel and equipment makes a ton of sense. It’s just a continuation of other practical policies such as the sharing of a fire department and a wastewater treatment plant. Similarly, it’s not unusual to see Brainerd and Baxter police cars at the same accident, assisting and working well with each other.

It’s heartening to note Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt’s comments that there’s an effort to collaborate even further with other governmental units and school districts to increase discounted bulk buying abilities. We encourage any move to take the parochial blinders off and save money for all the citizens of the Brainerd lakes area.