BAXTER - Baxter wants to work with the Minnesota Department of Transportation on the state agency's proposal to stockpile dirt for a future interchange at Crow Wing County Road 48 and Highway 371.
Baxter Public Works Director Trevor Walter told the city council Tuesday that a MnDOT official called him to see if Baxter would have concerns about piling 10,000 yards of dirt taken from excavation at Brainerd's Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion project on a 10-acre parcel near Highway 371.
Walter noted that as a state agency MnDOT is under no requirement to follow the city's zoning ordinance concerning such stockpiling. MnDOT, he said, wanted to be a good neighbor.
Mayor Darrel Olson said it was his opinion that the city should say no but conceded it might not make a difference.
"That dirt will be there for eons," Olson said in reference to how long it could take for the interchange to be constructed. The city has sought a federal grant for a vehicle bridge on Crow Wing County Road 48 over Highway 371.
Council member Jim Klein said he was concerned about how high the dirt would be piled. He said a strong wind could blow it away. Walter said MnDOT has guidelines in place to protect the surrounding environment.
"I just don't want to see a big mound there," council member Rob Moser said.
Walter said he would work with MnDOT to keep the dirt pile as low and as spread out as possible.
In other action, the council:
Approved an $8,000 contribution for fireworks for the Brainerd/Baxter Fourth of July celebration.
Heard of a complaint from a resident, passed along to the council by Olson, that it's difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross on the trail across Crow Wing County Road 48 near Ironwood Drive. Walter noted that because the county road is posted at 55 mph flashing lights and signs in the roadway could not be used. Walter said he would ask the Crow Wing County Highway Engineer Lyndon Robjent about putting orange flags on the crosswalk signs currently in place, whether the area is in a school zone and if the county is interested in a speed study.
Approved the 2009 Tour of the Lakes bike event on June 6.
Received the annual Camp Ripley update from Maj. Mike Pazdernik, deputy post commander. Pazdernik gave a rundown on training scheduled for the summer, including one of the heaviest training months in the last 10 years in June. Training during the summer will include Bradley fighting vehicles, tanks, howitzers and several other groups from throughout the country, he said.
"I'm supposed to ask you if all the rounds will stay on the post?" Olson said with a laugh in reference to a misfired shell fired from the camp by a private company in mid April that just missed a rural Pillager home.
"Well, I hope so," Pazdernik said.
Pazdernik also gave an update on the several projects being constructed at the camp and the camp's economic impact on the area, which is estimated to be about $239 million. Marty Skoglund, Camp Ripley environmental supervisor, updated the council on environmental efforts, including the Army Compatible Use Buffer zone.
Adjourned to the Board of Review at 1 p.m. on May 7 and the administrator review at 5:30 p.m. on May 11.
Adopted an ordinance prohibiting the parking of commercial vehicles - buses, trucks, tractors, truck-tractors and semitrailers - in or on public right-of-way unless engaged in loading or unloading, associated with a public or private construction and within 500 feet of the site and on private property used for commercial or industrial purposes despite a zoning of residential. Pickups and vans are considered passenger automobiles and not trucks.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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