BAXTER — Kelly Steele was welcomed as Baxter’s new city clerk.
Steele’s duties include preparing agendas, minutes, ordinances and resolutions for the council; maintaining municipal records; administering local elections; signing official documents; and issuing various licenses. Part of her duties will include developing annual reviews, performance evaluations and job descriptions.
Steele was previously city administrator for Madison Lake.
The city clerk position has been vacant since long-time clerk Beva Olson retired in June of 2011.
In other business, the council:
Approved the 2014 delayed payment of tax on special assessments for senior citizens or disabled people. The delayed payment allows a senior citizen or disabled individual to apply for a hardship deferment. The payment will be deferred with interest of 4 percent for 2014.
Approved the lift station No. 6 rehabilitation project to low bidder Anderson Brothers Construction for $88,000.
Approved the conditional use permit for furniture sales at North Pointe Shopping Centre in Suite 115, 14643 Edgewood Drive, Baxter. The request came from Lingle Design Group.
Approved a minor subdivision to plat a parcel creating two lots and approved a conditional use permit for a planned unit development in Baxter Edgewood subdivision at 14303 and 14305 Edgewood Drive. Council member Mark Cross, who works at Kuepers Inc., abstained from the vote.
Approved a Baxter sign policy related to sign types allowed, maintenance and reflectivity standards. In addition, the city policy is not to use deer crossing or children at play or watch for children signs because they are not recognized by the state’s uniform traffic control device manual. The city noted children may be playing near any number of given highways and signing all would be impractical. Also, the city’s report stated the signs give parents and children a false sense of security and there is no data to support driver behavior is altered by the signs.
Noted in utility commission reports a sewer backed up into a home on Cedar Scenic Road. There is a sag in the line. The city previously cleaned it but noted the last inspection cycle was missed accounting for the backup. The commission consensus was to permanently fix the sagging line to remove future city liability.
In other utility information, a 15- to 20-year-old storm sewer pipe on Golf Course Drive across from Panache salon was found cracked and the damaged segment will be patched as funding to replace the entire pipe is not available this year.
Renewed the National Joint Powers Alliance Health Partners (NJPA) insurance contract for 2014. There is no increase in the 2014 renewal for the current health insurance plan for single and family coverage premium this year. In the last year, there was a 5.6 increase for family coverage and a 5.7 percent increase for singles. The city reported Health Partners recommended a 4.5 percent increase but because of the overall pool was able to reduce that to zero. The city joined the cooperative in 2002 to pool its health insurance risk and get lower premiums.
The city’s net costs is anticipated to increase by about $78,055 with additional employees. The single annual premium is $494.98 with the city covering the entire cost and the annual family premium is $1,689.50 with the employee contributing $388.59 and the city picking up $1,300.92.