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Baxter City Council: Isle Drive extension plan takes shape

BAXTER - With the Isle Drive extension project getting closer, the Baxter City Council reviewed the final concept with WSB and Aric Welch of Widseth Smith Nolting Tuesday. Council member Todd Holman asked about options to connect with pedestrians...

BAXTER - With the Isle Drive extension project getting closer, the Baxter City Council reviewed the final concept with WSB and Aric Welch of Widseth Smith Nolting Tuesday. Council member Todd Holman asked about options to connect with pedestrians or bicycle options south on Ironwood Drive after the roundabout at Highland Scenic Drive. Holman noted an urban design will allow for a pedestrian path where a rural road plan with ditches would make it difficult to include. Holman said he'd think the urban option would be more attractive to property owners. Holman said he was concerned the standard design will be for rural but it may not match future development.

Mayor Darrel Olson said he didn't disagree but things keep coming up at the 11th hour on projects. Olson said he was concerned about any delay. The project is slated for next year. Olson said it wasn't important enough to mess up the entire project at this point.

In the end, the recommendation from consulting engineers was to provide an alternative with the pedestrian access the city council could make a decision on later.

Council member Mark Cross was absent.

In other business, the council:

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Agreed the city should take on appraisal and land acquisition negotiation for the Excelsior/Cypress drives construction project as the city's consulting engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) is also providing services for former golf course property owner Good Samaritan Society. The far southeastern corner of the Good Samaritan Society property is next to Excelsior Road. The city is proposing a stormwater pond there in 2015 and a roundabout at the Excelsior and Cypress intersection in 2018.

Set a public hearing for the certification of delinquent utility bills, invoices and abatements for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at city hall.

Approved 2015 delayed payment of tax on special assessments for applicants with eligible hardships.

Renewed the National Joint Powers Alliance Health Partners health insurance contract for 2015.

Approved a request by Pratt's Affordable Excavating and Borden Excavating to extend work hours on the Woida, Wildflower and Franklin drives project to include 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays between now through Nov. 2.

Approved an agreement with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Central Lakes College to provide student supervised pre-internship training unpaid by the city. The city's parks and trails division will participate in the college's occupational skills program, which provides soft skills training for people with mild to moderate disabilities. Plans call for one student to work with the parks and trails division from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through Dec. 18.

Heard from a resident requesting a 20 mph speed limit sign on Wildflower and Franklin drives. Noted trees are not slated to be planted where they were removed to make temporary access to Clearwater. Olson said that could be revisited later. The city is putting in a bike path there but will reduce the drive access at the end of the Woida Road project.

Set the date to canvass and declare election returns at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

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Set a city council budget meeting at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at city hall.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .

Related Topics: BAXTER
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 renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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