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7 Baxter roads on list for reclamation in 2023

An open house about the reclamation of six Baxter city roads and extension of two paved trails is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 20.

Street signs and the intersection of Clearwater and Inglewood roads.
Construction cones are near the intersection of Clearwater Road and Inglewood Drive Oct. 5, 2022. Clearwater Road is tentatively planned for a street construction project in the summer of 2023 with potential of a paved trail on the south side of the road.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch
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BAXTER — Six residential roads and one commercial road in Baxter are tentatively scheduled for reclamation during the summer of 2023.

The Baxter City Council met Tuesday, Oct. 4, and discussed an improvement project that includes the reclamation of:

  • Clearwater Road from Inglewood to Edgewood drives,
  • Cedar Scenic Road from Oakwood Drive to Memorywood Drive,
  • Oakwood Drive from Cedar Scenic Road to Michelle Circle,
  • 1,520 feet of Joler Road from Briarwood Lane,
  • Forest Drive from Excelsior Road to Clearwater Road,
  • 1,040 feet of Fox Road from Forest Drive, 
  • 200 feet of Fox Place from Forest Drive.
Graphics depicting the cost and area of road reclamation plans.
A map depicting the locations of the six roads that are potentially being resurfaced in 2023 .
Contributed

Road reclamation is a lower cost method of improving roads. The process involves breaking down the road material already in place and recycling it into new pavement for the road involved.

There will also be an extension of two paved trails along the south side of Clearwater Road from Inglewood to Edgewood drives and along the north side of Cedar Scenic Road from Brownsville Circle to Memorywood Drive.

The proposed projects are all preliminary and residents in these areas are invited to an open house at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, to learn more about it.

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The plans were originally presented to the council Sept. 20 with two council members absent. It was presented again on Oct. 4 in front of the whole council. Mayor Darrel Olson also encouraged all the council members to attend the open house if they could.

A diagram depicting the trail position on Cedar Scenic Road and Clearwater Road.
The potential trail extension on Cedar Scenic Road is depicted with a blue line in the map shown.
Contributed

The roads affected would involve resurfacing the roads to the same width. The project roads will remain as rural ditch sections, except for the east and west ends of Clearwater Road. Clearwater Road will have a curb and gutter in place instead of the rural ditch sections.

As of Oct. 4, no sanitary sewer and minimal water main improvements are necessary, city officials noted. The trails being built are intended to be 10 feet wide and at least 20-25 feet offset from the curb of roadways.

At the end of the discussion regarding the trails, it was decided the trail on Clearwater Road would have to be separated from the street if the city goes through with it. It is unclear if the trail on Cedar Scenic Road would be off the road or separated.

A diagram depicting the trail position on Cedar Scenic Road and Clearwater Road.
The potential trail extension on Clearwater Road is depicted with a blue line in the map shown.
Contributed

The preliminary assessment calculations are currently in the range of $8,000-$12,000 per estimated residential unit for single family residential properties, except for Joler Road with a current estimated range of $15,000-$18,000 per estimated rental unit. Commercial properties are currently in the range of $180-220 per front foot.

All of these prices are estimated and nothing will be finalized until later in the year, the city reported. One of the biggest factors affecting the rates are how high-density residential apartment complexes are factored in. Other factors affecting the rates are large parcel sizes.

In total, the preliminary total cost of the project would be $3,463,918.08 for the road reclamation and $5,152,680.20 for the trail extensions.

Graphics depicting the cost and area of road reclamation plans.
A breakdown of the potential costs of the road reclamation of six roads in Baxter that are tentatively planned for the Summer of 2023.
Contributed

Council member Zach Tabatt said he is torn between safety and cost on the trail portion of this project.

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“I personally don’t feel safe on a lot of roads where your trail is on the road,” Tabatt said.

Council member Mark Cross added that he “has a hard time not doing a separated trail, despite it costing more.”

Graphics depicting the cost and area of road reclamation plans.
A breakdown of the potential costs of extending the paved trails on Clearwater Road and Cedar Scenic Road.
Contributed

Council members also said they would like more information on the costs of the projects and how those costs would affect the residents. They mentioned the numbers would be nice to have so they could present it in front of the residents and “ask if they would like a trail for x amount of dollars.”

After hearing the opinions of the residents and more discussion, the council will decide around December if they want to move forward with the improvements.

In other business, Tuesday, the council:

Approved SEH contract for railroad quiet zone design, implementation, and notification in the not to exceed amount of $81,000.

Adopted a resolution for authorization of the federal aid funding agreement for the 2022 Highway 210/Inglewood Drive improvement project

Scheduled a public hearing for certification of delinquent utility bills, invoices, and abatements for 7 p.m. Nov. 15, or shortly thereafter.

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Approved the purchase of two squad computer replacements in the amount of $7,145.

Adopted a resolution setting the assessment for the 2022 Highway 210/Inglewood Drive railway crossing improvement project.

Olson also gave a mayoral proclamation stating the city of Baxter recognizes Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October.

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The city uses property taxes as the main source of revenue for its budget, accounting for 85.4% of its total expected revenue.

SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch, staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5851 or sara.guymon@brainerddispatch.com

Sara Guymon recently joined the Brainerd Dispatch as a staff writer.
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