With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Baxter City Council approved Tuesday, Feb. 16, a property variance enabling proprietors to establish a new Jimmy John’s restaurant at the site most recently vacated by the Trump merchandise store.
The variance allows a number of additions and alterations to the property so that a new, expanded Jimmy John’s can be established with new access points, new drive aisles, a drive-thru, parking additions, adjusted setbacks, added amenities and more for visitors to use when they visit the sandwich shop. Some of these alterations include significant changes to the building — such as removing a bank canopy and replacing it with a drive-thru.
In his council comments, Mayor Darrel Olson noted the new Jimmy Johns and other developments as examples of how the city is overcoming the COVID-19 slump.
“These are a lot of exciting things in this supposedly downturn economy, so we have a lot to be thankful for and excited about,” Olson said. “With that, the state is starting to loosen restrictions, so that means our local businesses can open and expand on the cusp of spring. The kids are back in school. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come.”
In addition, the council also approved a variance for LCL Electronics that would relocate the current driveway to the north end of their property at 8148 Industrial Park Road, as well as alterations to the requirement for a 35-foot setback, so that an expansion can be installed to the current building. As is, this expansion would block the current driveway and violate ordinances for the setback. Associated stormwater improvements include the installation of an overflow discharge connecting into the Cypress Drive storm sewer system and infiltration basins that decrease the outflux of water from the property.
In other business, the council:
Approved the 2021 maintenance contract to Generator Power Systems maintenance in the amount of $2,535 for the care of the city’s four wastewater generators. Generator Power Systems has maintained these generators since 2019.
Approved a 2021 maintenance contract with John Henry Foster for care of the wastewater treatment plan’s air compressor service.
Approved a change order in the amount of $6,399.40 and a partial pay estimate in the amount of $32,126.04 to Anderson Brothers Construction Co. for the 2020 Fairview Road, Golf Course Drive, Excelsior Road and trail connection and 2020 Oakwood Drive trail connection improvements project.
Approved the delay of planned improvements to Design Drive, Universal Drive, Fairview Road, and Glory Road until 2022 to work through design-related issues. Per city documents, progress on the project was hindered due to a delay in the award of the consultant contract, staffing matters at the contracting engineering-architectural firm Widseth and design issues that require more time and input for project managers to resolve.
Approved a payment of $3,248.99 to BNSF Railway for the 2022 Inglewood Drive railway crossing and associated roadway improvements project.
Approved a lawful gambling permit for the Confidence Learning Center to conduct gambling at Poncho and Lefty’s and Boulder Tap House.
Approved a budget amendment for Vessco Inc. to replace the chemical feed lines in the water treatment plant. According to city documents, the chemical lines, which typically need to be replaced every three years, deteriorated to the point that all lines need to be replaced this year.
Approved a letter of support for Crow Wing County in recognition of the Mapleton Road from Cass County County Highway 36 to Mountain Ash Drive Project. The letter gives the city’s support for a joint project between Crow Wing and Cass counties to reconstruct Mapleton Road from Cass County County Highway 36 to Mountain Ash Drive in Baxter.
Amended Section 125 of the cafeteria plan to extend the grace period to 12 months for unused benefits and to permit changes without an employee status change for 2021.