BAXTER -- Baxter City Council members have invited the Paul Bunyan Nature Learning Center to be annexed into the city.
Council member Rosemary Franzen on Tuesday said the city's Parks and Recreation Commission wanted the center to be annexed into the city and a recommendation was expected in time for the next council meeting.
At the Aug. 25 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, Dutch Cragun presented a concept plan to build a 3,700-foot woodchip trail with nature stops at his own expense on property along Highway 371 and the Paul Bunyan Nature Learning Center.
The nature center urged a resolution of acceptance for Cragun's proposed development at that meeting.
Council member Mark Cross said the the Cragun's development, once the proposed site for Menards before the business was built farther south, requested making the extension of the trail conservation district on the north and east side instead of a parks fee.
Cross said the nature center probably needs to be invited in regard to the annexation.
City Planner Todd Holman said he met with the nature center's board recently on that subject and the board wanted to explore options. Holman said he relayed the message that the city was not forcibly annexing property.
Holman said it would be good to know if the city was changing its message about annexation and the city should talk to the board if that was the case.
Franzen said the parks commission thought it was a good idea for the nature center to be part of the city. She said it was just a suggestion. Mayor Gary Muehlhausen said Franzen and Cross should visit with board members. Cross said he thought a formal invitiation to annex into the city would be enough.
Muehlhausen and Council member Barb Cross both said they wanted to emphasize the word invitation.
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