Baxter City Council: Food, music planned to celebrate OK park renovation
BAXTER--Hot dogs and classical music may be combining for a Baxter celebration of completed construction at Oscar Kristofferson Park in July. The Baxter City Council set the time for the event at Tuesday's regular meeting. Scott Lykins, piano and...
BAXTER-Hot dogs and classical music may be combining for a Baxter celebration of completed construction at Oscar Kristofferson Park in July.
The Baxter City Council set the time for the event at Tuesday's regular meeting. Scott Lykins, piano and cello, and John Taylor Ward, baritone, are expected to combine their musical talents to assist with Baxter's dedication ceremony for the park. Plans are to begin the event at 6 p.m. July 20 at the park, host a ribbon cutting and have an hour of music.
In other business, the council:
Heard in the work session a recommendation from Police Chief Jim Exsted to add signs to the Mississippi Overlook Park restricting camping. Those arriving by water, via canoe or kayak, are allowed to camp. But others are driving there across private property, partying and leaving a mess. The council agreed to start with the signs first. Other options discussed included adding a gate to restrict vehicle access.
Was asked to determine if terminated or retired employees could alter their insurance plans to add a spouse or child after their work days with the city were over. The city didn't have a policy on how or when changes could be made. Kelly Steele, acting city administrator, said there were a lot of unknowns along with increasing the number of people in the city's insurance pool. Council member Steve Barrows spoke in favor of leaving retirees with whatever was in force at the time they left the job, such as marital status. Barrows said generally those employees are in older years and added "this will sound bad, you start polluting the pool so to speak." The potential is there then, Barrows said, to raise the premiums for current employees. A proposed amendment to clarify the city's position is expected in July.
Set dates for interviews with candidates chosen as finalists for the city administrator position. About 27 people applied for the job. The council was open to moving the dates for interviews with the finalists when chosen to July 28-29. One of the questions before the council was whether to include community input as well during those visits. More details are expected at the July 5 council meeting.
Heard council comments, including Barrow's praise for city staff's work for the annual audit. Barrows said he appreciated everything the staff does to help keep the city in order. Barrows also toured areas hard hit by Sunday's storm, particularly the west side of Placid Lake. He said emergency services did a wonderful job.
Quinn Nystrom and Todd Holman attended the League of Minnesota Cities meeting. Holman said it was exceptionally well put together for session topics and networking. He encouraged any council members to participate as opportunity allows.
Mark Cross wished for a safe Fourth of July and encouraged people to attend upcoming parade and events. There was consternation about the fast pace of summer with the Fourth of July so close at hand.
Mayor Darrel Olson said he recently received a call from a business owner along Highway 371 but the message wasn't clear enough to be able to personally respond. The caller was concerned about the height of the roadside grass, wondering whose responsibility it is to mow. Olson said he talked to Trevor Walter, Baxter public works director, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Olson added MnDOT provided a mixed answer with the state reporting mowing will happen twice a year because of budget constraints.
"We all have budget constraints and it just falls back onto our budget," Olson said. He noted the city has been mowing areas that are not in its responsibility because of civic pride.
RENEE RICHARDSON, associate editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .