Baxter encourages census participation

Nearly 60% of residents fill out self-response census information.

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Baxter City Council members , staff and consultants meet via Zoom in the city's first virtual meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began. Screen shot by Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

As of April 5, 59.8% of Baxter residents filled out their self-response census information by going online or filling out the paper form and mailing them.

Baxter City Administrator Brad Chapulis said the city is well on its way toward its goal of reporting for the census and he was proud of residents for completing the self-response forms. By comparison, Chapulis said the state response rate is 54.5%. In 2010, the city’s self-response rate was 79%.

“So we are doing really good,” Chapulis said. “And I encourage the residents to continue to fill out those forms so that they don’t have to be bothered by census workers knocking on their door later this summer.”

In other business, the council:

Approved the final acceptance of the Camping World property per the development agreement and released the performance bond following the construction project. The city was waiting for spring weather and the end to ice and snow to finish as-built drawings and a topographic survey of the stormwater ponds.


Approved spending $8,644 from the drug forfeiture account to buy the police department a laptop and related expenses for software and security certificate. The city reported due to scheduling issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Baxter Police Department is bringing its drug task force agent back to work in the Baxter office, because of social distancing procedures being followed by Crow Wing County. The agent will therefore temporarily need to work from space in the Baxter office. To set up the office space, an additional laptop and related software was requested, noting there are sufficient funds in the drug forfeiture fund.

The council met in closed session regarding a number of items based on attorney-client privilege and purchase of property. After returning to open session, City Attorney Brad Person said after a discussion on a number of items, the council approved an assessment agreement, reviewed a counteroffer on Baxter Fairview property and approved a counteroffer, and authorized staff to make a motion to acquire small pieces of land on properties on Excelsior Drive.

The last item, a counteroffer on assessments was rejected and the council approved maintaining the last offer by the city with Mayor Darrel Olson and council member Zach Tabatt opposed.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at
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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