A boundary agreement between Brainerd and Baxter will be on hold for a while.
The Brainerd City Council on Wednesday decided to hold off voting on the tentative boundary agreement Brainerd and Baxter came to June 26 in order to meet with Jim Thompson of the law firm Kennedy and Graven.
The Brainerd City Council will hold a closed meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the tentative agreement made with Baxter. Several Brainerd council members felt they needed more information on the proposed agreement and wanted to discuss the issue as a group.
"There is some fine print I might change my mind on," said council member Gene Goedker. "I would like to see some additional discussion."
The Baxter City Council also meets Tuesday. Brainerd and Baxter have until July 14 to send a decision to Minnesota Planning. After July 14, Minnesota Planning's director will decide what sort of mediation to use to resolve Brainerd's and Baxter's contested annexation resolutions.
Mary Marana and Craig MacDonald, Baxter City Council members, attended Wednesday's Brainerd City Council meeting. McDonald said he would like to see the agreement voted upon because the contested annexation has prevented businesses, like Menards, from getting started.
Brainerd council member Jim Dehen said unless Baxter and Brainerd agree to withdraw their contested resolutions for annexation, agreeing on the arbitrary line may take some time.
The proposed boundary line would begin at County Road 49 and Danielson Road, go south along Danielson Road 40 acres, then east 40 acres, followed by south 40 acres, then east 40 acres, then south to the Baxter city limits.
If the city councils approve the concept, they would have an arbitrary line from which to plan annexation. Basically, Brainerd would agree not to annex west of the boundary line, Baxter would agree not to annex to the east of the boundary line.
With an agreement, both cities would be able to avoid contested case hearings with Minnesota Planning. At issue were 1,835 acres Brainerd passed a resolution to annex and 560 acres Baxter passed a resolution to annex. Both parcels are in Unorganized Territory and Baxter's resolution is located within Brainerd's resolution. They were both sent to Minnesota Planning in May.
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