Baxter City Council delays street lighting project

Baxter City Hall. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — A Highway 210 street light improvement project is on hold until the Minnesota Department of Transportation completes a Highway 210 corridor study.

The Baxter City Council agreed to the hold Tuesday, March 17, making the decision contingent upon MnDOT’s approval to hold the local partnership program funding. The project is estimated to cost $180,494 with an alternate bid for DNR lighting of the Paul Bunyan State Trail for $19,349.

Safety improvements are being studied along the corridor with a deadline for completion at the end of 2020. The city reported the study is emphasizing intersection safety, particularly four locations:

  • Highway 210 and Highway 371,

  • Highway 210 and Elder Drive,

  • Highway 210 and Memorywood Drive, and

  • Highway 210 and Meredith Drive.

Highway 210 is scheduled for a mill and overlay project in 2021.
“If the city continues with the street lighting project, the city will be responsible for 100% of the street lighting relocation costs if the intersection improvements are determined to be warranted at a later date,” the city noted in a report on the project.

MnDOT’s share of the cost for Memorywood Drive and Meredith Drive intersection is estimated to be $87,591 with the city share totaling $92,903. The city reported the total project cost — with DNR participation — is expected to be $199,843.


At the council meeting, Trevor Walter, public works director and highway engineer, said MnDOT may add more lights for safety than what is currently designed.

Council member Todd Holman said he was supportive of waiting a year as getting more lights would be a great outcome. Mayor Darrel Olson asked if there were any negatives.

Walter said the cost will go up but that will be shared by MnDOT. Olson said it may be worth it if it’s a better product.

In other business, the council:

Granted a new 15-year franchise to CTC to construct, operate and maintain a cable system for cable TV in the city.

Approved a permit for retail sales of fireworks for Costco, Cub Foods, Target and Walmart from April 1 through March 30, 2021.

Approved a Short Elliott Hendrickson contract for the 2018 Cypress Drive improvements project, two-year post construction warranty inspection and evaluation in the amount of $18,700.

Accepted a $2,515,990.90 bid from Anderson Brothers Construction for the 2020 improvement project involving Fairview Road, Golf Course Drive, Excelsior Road and a trail connection and 2020 Oakwood Drive trail connection


Approved the Widseth Smith Nolting proposal to assist the city with the repair/replacement of the floor drain pipe from the salt silo/storage room in the water treatment plant for $5,000 and $5,000 for third party costs.

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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