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Jasper County Tribune

5 things to know from the February Baxter City Council meeting

1. A request to amend a current city ordinance on the use of ATV/UTV in city limits was brought to the council. Mike Ware, along with several others in attendance, requested the city update its current ordinance to allow for the use of ATV/UTV vehicles within city limits.

Jasper County Supervisors Brandon Talsma was also at the meeting to discuss the county’s ordinance relating to ATV/UTV use. The recreational vehicles are allowed on gravel roads in the county as of August 2019.

After a lengthy discussion, the council decided to it would like to give the topic further consideration at the March meeting. It also requested information regarding insurance costs to the city.

2. Doug Bishop with the Baxter Economic Development Committee reported a Newton developer is interested in constructing six duplex units on property owned by the BEDC on South East Avenue. The council reviewed a conceptual drawing and Tax Increment Financing incentives were discussed before the council gave approval for the BEDC to move forward with the project.

3. Baxter Police Chief John Hicks reported the department has received local complaints about parking around the school during special events and traffic enforcement during that time. The department is currently working to address the issues.

The Lexipol policy management program along with a records management system have also both been implemented in the department.

4. The council approved the bid from Speck USA for 2020 street sweeping work. Recent complaints received about business dumpster/recycling services were discussed. The council instructed the city clerk to send a letter to Anderson Sanitation about the issues. A final review of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget will take place at the March 9 meeting.

5. The council discussed a concern brought previously by a property owner regarding the safety of a residential fence. Baxter City Clerk Peg Kimberley said the property owner has agreed to allow testing of the fence material and was instructed to contact the Iowa Department of Health for a free testing of the materials used.

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