Brainerd/Baxter Annexation Dispute Comes To A Halt
No progress has been made over the disputed land between two central Minnesota cities. The Brainerd City Council and Baxter City Council have not come to a resolution over the proposed annexation of Brainerd Public Utilities property.
In a report to the Brainerd council, Mayor Ed Menk says that he first drafted and sent a letter, in early September, asking the Baxter council to put the issue of the BPU property on the next meeting agenda. With Brainerd City Administrator Jim Thoreen, the mayor attended the Baxter council meeting on September 20th, to discuss the annexation. The two made a presentation to the other city’s council, which then went into a closed session. The report says the closed door meeting may have been an ‘overreach.’ During this discussion, the Baxter council decided that they will not do anything at the present time.
The details of the letter was recorded in the minutes of the September 20th meeting minutes.
Mayor Menk argues that the BPU property should be detached from the City of Baxter allowing for annexation of the property to the City of Brainerd. In the letter, he addressed concerns that the other city’s residents, who may be worried that the city may look to take additional land and the need to be assured of future easements in relation to utility systems. He says no one has suggested that other land parcels would be annexed and the Brainerd Council will be “open to discussion” about other easements.
The mayor said in the report from the October 3rd meeting, that if any further action is to be taken, it will be up to the Brainerd Council or the BPU to move the matter forward.
On an October 4th agenda for the Baxter City Council meeting, the issue was not on the schedule.