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Menards in Baxter is expanding

Baxter City Council voted to approve the development agreement and limited use agreement with Menards at their regular meeting on Sept. 20.

Citizens gather for a city council meeting.
Citizens of Baxter gather for a Baxter City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch
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BAXTER — Menards in Baxter intends to expand with an off-site parking lot and a larger sales yard.

The Baxter City Council approved development and limited use agreements with Menards at its Tuesday, Sept. 20, meeting.

Three of five council members attended a majority of the meeting. John Ward arrived while fellow council members — Connie Lyscio, Zach Tabatt and Mayor Darrel Olson — were finishing up the meeting with their council comments. Mark Cross was not present at the meeting.

The council voted to approve the development agreement and limited use agreement between the city and Menards Inc.

Plans to expand Menards were first presented to the council Aug. 16. The plans include a sales yard expansion, a detached accessory structure and an off-site parking lot at Menards at 15236 Dellwood Drive for employee use.

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Previously, Menards Inc. proposed construction of a loading dock as well, but this is no longer part of construction plans.

The development agreement protects the city’s municipal improvements in rights of way or publicly dedicated easements owned or controlled by the city and was recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Along with the construction, Menards’ proposed improvements include a stormwater overflow connecting into the city’s storm sewer system on Whispering Woods Lane. The limited use agreement protects the city from the liability associated with the storm sewer connection. The agreement is strictly for the storm sewer connection only.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Mark and Judy Zahn spoke during the public comment period about a problem they’re having with noise in their neighborhood.

The Zahns live behind Heartland Animal Rescue Team and said they recently called the police because the noise level of barking dogs hasn’t decreased, even after they contacted the organization. The police told them to continue calling the department and officers would handle the situation. However, Judy Zahn said they feel they are “wasting valuable police time and valuable resources on this call.”

“It’s not ridiculous to us, but I know they’ve got more important things to do,” Judy Zahn said.

The dog barking is so loud they can hear it inside their home, the Zahns said. The noise is constant in the morning but varies on and off throughout the day.

The mayor questioned if the barking was worse now than before, to which the Zahns answered yes. Lyscio mentioned the shelter is at full capacity at the moment.

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“There are multiple animal rescue sites throughout the state in communities and city limits that operate without disturbing neighbors,” Judy Zahn said.

When asked about a solution, the Zahns didn’t have a direct answer. They said HART accommodated them better before despite being at full capacity and wondered what changed since then.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

Approved an RL Larson Excavating Inc. change order in the increased amount of $1,732.50 for the 2022 Foley Road, Isle Drive, and Forthun Road improvements project. The council also approved a partial pay estimate of $853,742.27 for the project.

Approved an ASTECH Inc. final pay estimate in the amount of $244,508.56 for the 2022 micro surfacing project.

Approved a Knife River Corp. North Central final pay estimate in the amount of $22,610.86 for the 2021 mill and overlay and full-depth reclamation improvement project involving College Road, Isle Drive, Glory Road and Paris Road trailhead.

Approved an Anderson Brother Construction Co. change order in the increased amount of $29,619.35 for the 2022 full-depth reclamation and reconstruction improvement project involving Glory, Universal, Woida and Clearwater roads along with the Edgewood Drive entrance to Highway 371. The change order came after contractors determined storm structures were in very poor condition and needed to be replaced. The council also approved a partial pay estimate to Anderson Brothers for $34,317.17.

Approved a Burski Excavating Inc. change order in the increased amount of $7,584.09 and increased the project budget from $185,238.31 to $203,181.52 for the Section 6 Area A-1 stormwater outlet project.

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Appointed Robert Bray to a Parks and Trails Maintenance position at Grade 3, Step 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees pay grade and step schedule.

Set the public information meeting to review the 2023 budget and levy with public testimony for 6 p.m. Dec. 5.

Adopted a resolution approving a conditional use permit for Atwater Motors to operate a dealership located at 14775 Edgewood Drive.

Adopted a resolution approving a preliminary and final plat to allow the Austin Acres Second Addition for property located south of Clearwater Road and 350 feet east of Inglewood Drive.

Adopt a resolution approving a conditional use permit for grading and filling in a shoreland overlay district for property located at 13152 Timberlane Drive.

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The Baxter City Council met on Sept. 20 and approved a preliminary levy of $8,504,500 — a 9.9% over 2022.

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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