Baxter City Council approves changes at mini-roundabout
City reduces requirements to open jobs to more applicants
BAXTER — Work on the Foley Road, Isle Drive and Forthun Road construction project is expected to continue into early summer with seeding, sod and changes to the mini-roundabout.
The Baxter City Council Tuesday, April 18, approved changes to the project to remove two 4 inch thick concrete median sections at the Isle Drive and Forthun Road mini-roundabout and replace them with 8 inch thick concrete. Also two cracked concrete driveway aprons will be replaced.
A 40-foot long by 2.5 foot wide truck apron around the roundabout will be constructed that is 8 inches thick. The city reported the truck apron on the north side of the mini-roundabout is needed to support semitrailer traffic from Home Depot.
The work is expected to be completed by June 16.
The $4,762,740 project will increase to $4,782,894 with the changes but remains $142,999 below budget.
In other business, the council:
Received information the Highway 210/Inglewood Drive railway crossing project will begin again May 2.
One change involves “adding a concrete median and south bound stop sign at the north leg of the Inglewood Drive and Fairview Road intersection. This will create a three-way stop condition like the Woida Road and Edgewood Drive intersection to keep traffic control consistency within the city for these frontage road intersections,” according to the city’s Utilities Commission minutes from April.
Reduced the experience requirements for an engineering inspector after not being able to fill a position. The city’s inspector retired after 21 years last fall. The public works department reported it started to advertise to fill the position in October of 2022 and had one qualified applicant since then with whom they were unable to come to terms for employment. The department noted the Minnesota Department of Transportation and private firms are also seeking inspectors and technicians with limited success, with some positions open for more than a year.
“Staff is proposing to reduce the experience requirements of 3-5 years to less than one year and remove the associate degree requirement to high school graduate cast a broader net to a larger candidate pool,” the public works department stated in a report to the City Council. “Staff understands this will require additional training but without reducing the qualifications we believe the position will not get filled with the current market for experienced inspectors/technicians.”
The pay range for the position is $26.30 to $33.31 per hour.
“The primary objective of this position is to perform routine and complex technical engineering related work for environmental, water, sanitary sewer, street, storm water and other public works projects and programs,” according to the job description.
Noted one application was received to fill the engineering intern position and that applicant wasn’t hired so the public works department sought a shift to a seasonal engineering position, meaning a 17-year-old could apply for it as a summer job at $15.25 an hour.
Appointed Jeffrey Manning at $15.25 per hour to streets and utilities maintenance, a seasonal position.
Appointed Hayden Lacher as streets and utilities intern at $17.25 per hour. The position gives a college student a chance to assist in operations. Lacher will start in mid-May. The city noted Sourcewell will pay $14 per hour for the position while the city contributes $3.25 per hour for 640 hours.
Appointed Vincent Reichenbach to the parks and trails maintenance position.
Approved hiring Casey Anderson as patrol officer. The position fills the vacancy created when Kathy Ailts resigned, effective immediately, on Dec. 15, 2022.
Adopted a stormwater design manual and approved HR Green, not to exceed $14,980, for engineering assistance for the city’s MS4 permit — the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit with the state regarding reducing sediment and pollutants going into state waters.
Accepted the Anderson Brothers Construction bid of $180,217 for a lift station reconstruction project and increased the project budget from $240,000 to $251,111.
Purchased easements for street project and agreed to a Clearwater Road homeowner’s request to move lilac bushes and protect the root ball.
Approved a gambling permit for Advocates for Reproductive Education for a raffle at the Northland Arborteum on Aug. 23.
Supported the Baxter Police Department’s request to apply for Community Impact Funding availlable through Sourcewell in Staples to upgrade the department’s body camera system. Sourcewell is offering the funds to assist a participating member with a project needing between $20,000 and $50,000 for a project for technology upgrades. The police department reported new body and squad car camera systems will be needed in 2024 and are expected to cost more than $50,000.
Noted the city received $914,037 of American Rescue Plan dollars to assist as relief during the pandemic. The city used $700,000 of the vuds to cover part of the infrastructure costs at the water treatment plant. And $70,000 is set for this year’s Forestville Drive neighborhood fibeoptic project with Crow Wing County and CTC. That leaves $144,037 remaining. The council agreed to put the remaining amount toward the city’s water fund to cover water infrastructure investments.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at @DispatchBizBuzz.