BAXTER -- Baxter will not be taking part in an environmental study of a large portion of land in the southern and eastern portions of the city.
The Baxter City Council Tuesday declined to participate in a Potlatch-requested Alternative Urban Areawide Review of about 5,000 acres of land in west and south Baxter.
An AUAR is a type of environmental assessment used to assess potential cumulative environmental impacts from future urban development over a broad geographic area.
The city council's decision was based on cost. The $350,000 AUAR was to be a joint study between the city, Potlatch Corp. and other landowners. However, City Planner Todd Holman said the landowners, including Potlatch, only agreed to pay about 20 percent of the AUAR cost.
"The city is not in a position to fund the gap," said Holman. Council member Darrel Olson was surprised to hear that Potlatch, which initiated the AUAR discussion, had only agreed to pay $50,000.
In other action, the council:
Reset the town hall meeting for 6-9 p.m. April 15 at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church, 3150 N. Fairview Road.
Learned from City Administrator Dennis Coryell that the Legislature is considering not extending levy limits this session, which would allow cities like Baxter to levy more. Coryell, who with Holman, City Finance Director Jeremy Vacinek and Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt met in St. Paul Tuesday with Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, who serves as the House Tax Committee chairman, said Abrams commended cities like Baxter that didn't levy to the full limits for 2004. The meeting with Abrams was set up by Rep. Dale Walz, R-Brainerd, to discuss a proposed Baxter and Brainerd sales tax.
Approved the purchase of Fairview Road property in the amount of $92,000.
Approved the proposal from Widseth Smith Nolting, an engineering and design firm in Baxter, for engineering services for the 2004 Austin Meadow improvements at an amount not to exceed $11,000.
Approved the exterior layout concept plan, and the road and parking concept plan for the Whipple Beach improvement project.
Adopted a resolution supporting legislation to provide improved funding options for city street improvements.
Held a public hearing and adopted a resolution annexing Excel Motors, located just west of Highway 371.
Approved the preliminary and final plats of the View at Rush Lake, and approved the conditional use permits and planned unit development plan for the View at Rush Lake development.
Adjourned to a closed session for a union negotiation strategy session and to discuss a workers' compensation issue.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.