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Jasper County Tribune

Baxter City Council Considering Two Meetings Per Month

Baxter City Council considering two meetings per month

Baxter City Council Members participate in their monthly city council meeting Monday night.
Baxter City Council Members participate in their monthly city council meeting Monday night.

BAXTER – A new police radio, new stop signs and a potential second city council meeting per month were among the topics of discussion in Baxter Monday night.

During the Baxter city council meeting, members voted unanimously to amend ordinance 591, which involves replacing yield signs with stop signs at certain intersections in Baxter for safer and less confusing driving directions in those areas.

Among the intersections receiving the stop signs include roads traveling west approaching Walnut Avenue and Allan Avenue, traveling east approaching East Fox Avenue and South High Street, traveling east approaching East Watson Avenue and South High Street and traveling south approaching the Polk Street and Kimberly Lane intersection.

Shawn Fuller, public works director for Newton, told city council members he has the signs ready to put up as soon as Tuesday. A final vote for each intersection’s stop sign will take place at a smecial meeting Nov. 12, starting at 6 p.m.

City council members also approved the purchase of a police car radio as part of Baxter Police Department’s efforts to upgrade its two vehicles. The total cost of the radio was $8,237.02.

Members were skeptical at first due to the cost of the radio was higher than some vehicles themselves, but Baxter Police Chief Adam Choat insisted the upgrade was overdue.

“It’s important to have a (working) mobile police radio in ever squad car you have. You have a portable radio, but it only pumps out so many watts,” Choat said. “A portable radio will only put out four watts, where as a car radio will put out 40 watts. In certain cases in rural areas, you need those extra watts to ask for help or to help others.”

Another approval made by city council was the hiring of a company for their snow hauling bid. Baxter hired a company to moved the pile of snow, which snow-plow trucks move the snow on the roads to, to move the snow pile to Baxter Sports Complex.

The company hired was Needham Excavating.

“They’re only going to be hauler, not the plower,” said Peg Kimberly, Baxter city clerk. “We move the snow to the middle (of Baxter) and then we use the unloader, and then we load it into their trucks and they haul it out to the designated spot, where they dump it.”

One other topic discussed was the possibility of for city council meetings to take place on the second and fourth weeks of each month instead of just the second week.

City council member Dan Kunkel proposed the idea since the city council seems to have more special meetings than usual to resolve city matters. A second regular meeting per month, a shorter one which could resolve unfinished business from the first meeting of the month, would eliminate the need for several special meetings and allow city council members to spend more time with their families.

“(Almost) everybody on the council has kids,” Kunkel said. “That way, everybody can plan better with the second meeting instead of a special meeting. It’s really a headache.”

City council members ultimately decided to vote on the additional meeting date in the November meeting.

Contact Orrin Shawl at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or at oshawl@newtondailynews.com

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