BAXTER -- Unless specifically requested, Baxter will not fence holding ponds or wetlands within the city.
The Baxter City Council Tuesday adopted a policy of not fencing storm water ponds and wetlands. The reasons for the policy were that ordinary fencing wouldn't stop a determined child, there is a cost associated in building and maintenance, they would be unsightly and would create a danger if a child falls off or becomes tangled in the fence. The fence would also delay rescuers.
City Public Works Director Trevor Walter said the policy allows the city discretionary immunity.
"Without the policy, it leaves the city wide open," said Walter. "Right now I'm trying to cover the city from a million dollar lawsuit."
Council member Barb Wells said her concern wasn't in being sued, but about the safety of children, especially near neighborhood ponds.
However, the policy doesn't preclude the city from putting up fencing around ponds. Walter said he had no problem putting up fencing as long as the city council gives him a budget to do this.
In other action, the council:
Adopted a resolution receiving bids and awarding the contract to R.L. Larson Excavating Inc., of St. Cloud, in the amount of $1,055,328.15 for the 2004 Meredith/Norway/Lancer Area utility and roadway improvement project.
Approved five tasks on a proposal from Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services for an estimated amount of $7,143.
Reduced the letter of credit issued by River Vista LLC to the city of Baxter for the Knollwood North Addition Project to $16,500, which is 125 percent of the remaining work to be completed.
Heard from Baxter resident Chris VandePutte during the public forum portion of Tuesday's meeting. VandePutte said the money for the Whipple Beach improvement project should be used elsewhere and that the beach can't handle more people.
Approved the Benshoof proposal for Cypress Drive/Crow Wing County State Aid Highway 48 corridor study for an estimated amount of $34,000 contingent on Crow Wing County Highway Department funding $15,000 of the study costs.
Adopted a resolution determining sufficiency of petition and ordering improvements pursuant to petition by 100 percent of owners on the affected property on Deerwood Road, for city streets, sewer and water.
Approved the plans and specifications for "The View at Rush Lake" improvement project.
Approved a change order of $5,624 to Larson Excavating for the Berrywood Drive Improvements.
Adopted a resolution approving plans and specifications and ordering advertisement for bids for the 2004 Isle Drive improvement project.
Adopted a resolution approving plans and specifications and ordering advertisement for bids for the 2004 Hinckley Road extension improvement project.
Appointed Steve Borg as parks and trails maintenance worker.
Approved an interim conditional use permit to Patricia Keithley for a residential day care on Fox Road.
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