BAXTER -- Baxter City Council members debated when to put road improvement projects for Clearwater and Inglewood Drive back on the agenda.
Tuesday night Public Works Director Trevor Walter said staff was looking for direction regarding information meetings and public hearings. People continue to be concerned about assessments for large lots, Walter said. Mayor Gary Muehlhausen said last year the council would address the issue in May.
Council member Barb Wells suggested a workshop may be needed. Council member Darrel Olson said the council needs to know what they are going to say before a public hearing. Wells said since council member Mark Cross is absent for about two weeks, the issue should be on the council agenda for the second week in June. Walter said with that schedule the first public hearing is not expected until August.
In other business, the council:
Heard a local option sales tax may require more hurdles in the future. Assistant Finance Director Jeremy Vacinek said the state may be reducing the local government aid by more than expected and may add a provision for need before allowing communities to have a local option sales tax. Vacinek suggested a renewed effort with area representatives on the issue.
Approved the Widseth Smith Nolting, architecture and engineering firm based in Baxter, proposal for engineering services for project management and construction staking of three projects -- the 2003 Bronson Road North and Michelle Circle North area improvement at a cost not to exceed $97,800; the 2003 Knollwood Drive extension improvements at a cost not to exceed $196,500; the 2003 Excelsior Road improvements at a cost not to exceed $18,900.
Approved hiring a finance analyst.
Approved a negative declaration, which means further environmental review was not needed based on fact finding for a Great River Energy transmission line and an Edgewood Drive North extension. They also approved a conditional use permit to construct a Great River Energy transmission line and substation upgrade.
Approved two conditional use permits for two residential day-care centers -- one for Shelly Kinney and one for Stacey Lewis.
Approved a conditional use permit for tent sales of outdoor fireworks for Christ Alive Church to be located at Wal-Mart on the grass behind the current garden center from about June 26 to July 5.
Approved the preliminary plat for Aspen Ridge Townhomes Phase Two.
Approved the conditional use permit for the site plan for Assemblies of God Tabernacle. The site is just off College Road South and the eastside of Berrywood Drive South. Construction is expected to start in the summer. Olson abstained from voting because he is a church member.
Amended the loading dock ordinance to give the city zoning administrator sole discretion of the required amount for each business or structure using size of the building and parking area, volume and frequency of deliveries, that no delivery trucks need to park or back into a public street or near walkway or entrance and that traffic not be negatively affected.
Discussed whether to send a letter of support regarding the potential relocation of Paul Bunyan and Babe to the welcome center being developed south of Brainerd and Baxter. Muehlhausen said he wholeheartedly supported keeping Paul Bunyan in the area. Franzen said she also supported the move. Olson said the council has not been officially requested to act. Vacinek said he could ask the Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce to make a presentation to the council. The council did not make a decision either way.
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