The topic of a possible merger between the cities of Brainerd and Baxter was discussed Monday at the Brainerd City Council's retreat .
Dan Vogt, Brainerd city administrator, presented the council with a copy of a study of what two cities near the Twin Cities metro area, Norwood and Young America, did to explore the possibility of merging, which the two eventually did.
Council member Gene Goedker said that even though a merger is not in Brainerd's interest now, it could be in the future, and the city should start a study.
"In the long run it (merging) would be better for our area," Goedker said. "We won't have all this bickering and arguing."
Council member Gary Scheeler said he would like to see the cities remain apart because it keeps them from growing complacent. He said it was the competition between the two cities that gives people the best service possible and keeps the two cities sharp.
The study process would start at the next city council meeting, where the council could decide to draft a letter to the Baxter City Council about the merger issue, Vogt said.
Council member Jim Dehen said the merger issue needs to be looked at strongly to see where Baxter stands.
"If Baxter refuses the study, they have to answer to their constituents," Dehen said, adding that many residents are in favor of a merger. He added all the council is looking into is a study, and it can be voted down if it is not wanted.
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