Backus City Council conducts spring business

Decisions range from equipment repairs to city street cleaning.

Backus Council recieves Enbridge recognition.jpg
Representatives from Enbridge Energy attended the Monday, May 2, 2022 Backus City Council meeting to present the council with insulated mugs and a plaque in thanks for their suport of the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

BACKUS — The Backus City Council made many standard spring cleaning type decisions during its Monday, May 2, regular council meeting.

After selling water from a nearby hydrant, the city received a recommendation to install a check valve to prevent back flows into their system, and possibly a meter for accurately measuring the outflow. The council agreed on a $631.90 check valve. The valve will need to be inspected each year for $150 approximately.

The council discussed possible fire hydrant extensions in up to three locations in the city where hydrants tend to become obscured by snow. Replacing all of them would cost approximately $2,600. The council agreed to replace one now, and keep the remaining two in mind in future budgets.

The council approved a contract for GIS services through the Environmental Systems Research Institute. The contract includes $494 for licensing a creator, $345 for a field worker and $99 for a viewer. The contract will provide the city with a better understanding of the locations of its utilities.

The council mulled over a quote of $240 per hour from Commercial Asphalt Repair for street sweeping. The estimated cost for sweeping all city streets may be as high as $4,800. The council decided to first have crack sealing completed for the entire city for $18,620 from Outdoor Specialties LLC, after which they can see how much sweeping still needs to be done and make a decision.


Read more Backus City Council news
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November meeting rescheduled Nov. 16
Inflation's impact on residents convinces council to levy less than recommended
The new ordinance from Sourcewell updates an old ordinance the council recently addressed regarding a mobile home.
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The council did not budget for garage door damage and shared street repairs
Lighting addresses part of city vandalism issues.

The council agreed to reimburse a homeowner for damage to a mailbox post. Following city policy, they will reimburse the owner with an amount equal to the cost of a swing-away mailbox post, but the owner may install whatever type of post they desire with the funds, as they indicated they do not like swing-away posts.

In other business, the council:

  • Received a thank you, as well as insulated mugs and a plaque, recognizing their support of the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.
  • Agreed to replace the card reader system on the airport gas pumps. The current system has never worked properly and since installation has been damaged.
  • Learned that Backus teen Amadeus Avis was recognized by the Backus Fire Department and Backus First Response for his actions that saved the life of a man who had suffered a stroke. The fire department bought him a new bicycle and presented him with a trophy.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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