Baxter City Council signs land management agreement with Camp Ripley

By a unanimous vote Tuesday, Dec. 1, Baxter City Council agreed to a land management agreement with the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, Camp Ripley, to collaborate with land management of 880 acres of open space to the south. -west of Baxter.

“The intention of (the agreement) is to authorize projects when those goals align and therefore there are no pre-stated commitments,” said director of community development Josh Doty. . “The agreement does not specifically describe the specific tasks that are envisioned in this spirit of managing land-related resources in southwest Baxter.”

Under a memorandum of understanding between the two parties, two entities would share a commitment to seek opportunities to work together on projects that are consistent with the objectives shared by the department and the city. According to the memorandum, both parties must agree on the projects and no entity is obligated to commit funds.

Council member Todd Holman said there weren’t many examples of similar agreements between local municipalities and military installations, citing an example from Camp Blanding in Florida – however, this one is complicated by ongoing disputes over endangered gopher turtle populations, while the agreement between Camp Ripley and Baxter does not appear to have any external factors at this time.

Council member Zach Tabatt said he appreciates the employees of the Town of Baxter and Camp Ripley.

“I just wanted to thank both Josh Doty and Josh Pennington and everyone who was involved in making this deal,” said Tabatt. “Just for the job you’ve done because these things don’t just happen on their own, especially when you’re dealing with entities the size of Camp Ripley and trying to get all of those goals lined up. So thank you for doing this job. I can’t wait to see some positive things come out of it.

In other matters, counsel:

Approve the name of the new trail on Oakwood Drive, Whipple Beach to Cedar Scenic Road, as the “Leech Lake Road” trail. Members also approved the installation of information kiosks and a community entrance bench on the trail. Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, council members gathered for a working session where they discussed the history of the area that led to the new name of the trail segment. Mayor Darrel Olson said he agreed with the idea, but expressed reluctance to name a small, two-block trail segment that would likely be known simply as the “trail. on Oakwood Drive ”for local residents.

Approved conversion of unused vacation hours deferred compensation payments for all eligible department heads working for the City of Baxter.

Approved a job description and budgeted for a post for an administrative position for streets and utilities and parks and trails to help with the day-to-day administrative tasks of the two departments.

GABRIEL LAGARDE can be contacted at [email protected] or 218-855-5859. Follow on