BAXTER - A Pizza Ranch restaurant will soon be built along Fairview Road east of Hawthorn Inn and Suites.
The Baxter City Council Tuesday approved a conditional use permit with six conditions for the proposed 4,800-square-foot restaurant, which will include a drive-through pick-up window.
The restaurant will share an entrance with the hotel and the restaurant sign will be added on top of the existing hotel sign.
The city also tabled a motion to apply for a $100,000 DNR matching grant to construct the proposed Mountain Ash Drive trail, the final section of the "loop" around Forestview Middle School. The cost to the city would be $124,200.
Deadline to apply for the grant for construction this year is March 31. Council members, who expressed reluctance to move forward with the project and foot the entire $124,200 cost, learned from city staff in discussions with Crow Wing County staff the chances are slim that the county would want to partner with the city on the project due to limited funds.
Steve Lund, director of business services for the Brainerd School District, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said he couldn't speak for the school board but agreed that the project benefited the district and its students.
The trail around Forestview is not only used by the district but has become a popular route used by area special events, such as the MS Walk, Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure and the Brainerd High School triathlon. City staff also received a call requesting the March of Dimes use this route for its benefit walk.
Lund said the board could not make a decision whether to use some capital funds for the project by the application deadline but the issue could be brought forth to the March 23rd school board finance committee.
Council members tabled the motion in case city staffers were to discover new information that would warrant a special city council meeting to approve the grant application by March 31. Otherwise, the project will not go through this year.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl gave a presentation to council members. Dahl spoke of the growing problem of identity theft and the great investigative work that the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division, or LADID, has done. The four-member team includes a Baxter police officer. Dahl said his department and area law enforcement has worked hard to get off the 13th deadliest counties in Minnesota list. The county dropped from 11th to 23rd.
The council approved an interim use permit for Christmas Point Wild Rice Co. to hold four outside events in the back parking lot this summer with conditions. The permit allows the business to set up a 40-foot-by 100-foot tent for those outside events.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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