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Baxter City Council: City reaches final settlement on Cypress Drive assessments

BAXTER--The city of Baxter came to a settlement with Navillus Land Co. over assessments for the Cypress Drive corridor project. In a closed session, Tuesday, April 30, Baxter City Council members conferred with legal counsel to review a request b...

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The entrance of Baxter City Hall on Memorywood Drive. Brainerd Dispatch file photo

BAXTER-The city of Baxter came to a settlement with Navillus Land Co. over assessments for the Cypress Drive corridor project.

In a closed session, Tuesday, April 30, Baxter City Council members conferred with legal counsel to review a request by Navillus Land Co. to adjust assessments placed on five properties around the intersection of Cypress Drive and College Road. In October, the company made formal objections to assessments for three properties on College Road and two parcels with no assigned addresses.

When council members reopened the meeting, they voted unanimously to support a settlement that would restructure the assessments placed on Navillus properties. Specifically the company will bankroll between roughly 69%-70% of the assessment originally imposed on these properties.

While preliminary estimates placed total costs for the project at $14,322,302, a final summary of costs presented at the Oct. 11 hearing set the price tag at $17,170,974.

Navillus Land Co. was among eight property owners submitting objections to assessments for the project: three Berrywood Apartments entities, Altronics, Ashabee LLC, Haylyn LLC and YellowHouse LLC. According to Baxter Mayor Darrell Olson, the Navillus settlement was the last reached on the Cypress Drive corridor project.

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"On this last one, we tried to match it with a neighboring settlement," Olson said.

Now, in the middle of a multi-year construction initiative, the project's ultimate goal is to connect Cypress Drive north to Woida Road and then to Wise Road and south to Highland Scenic Drive, also known as County Highway 48. This would create a parallel corridor to Highway 371, particularly for local traffic versus people passing through the Baxter strip.

It's expected to improve access to the city's industrial park to the south of Highway 210, shorten local trips, increase options for pedestrians and bicycle riders, and give local traffic an alternative to the bustling Highway 371.

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