BAXTER SPRINGS - The Baxter Springs Fire Department held its annual elections on January 12. The new fire officers are fire chief - Gunnar Wixon (previous title was assistant chief), deputy chief - Art Mallory (no change in title), assistant chief - Cory Moates (previous title was captain), captain - DaKota Wixon (previous title was lieutenant), lieutenant - Thomas (TJ) Carter (new officer), treasurer - Jeremie Humphrey (new treasurer), Secretary - Shawn Cearnal (new secretary), trustee - Robert (Bob) Kirby (no change in title). The department has already responded to 13 calls including 11 total fire calls (one vehicle fire, five grass fires, three residential cooking fires, one dumpster fire and one fire alarm call), one rescue call (motor vehicle accident) and one hazmat call (natural gas leak).

Mary Williams, in reference to the city charging too much for sewer and assessment on property located on 4th and Grant, attended the meeting for a follow up to her questions brought to the council earlier this month. Her concern is that she has been charged with the lawn care charges prior to her owning the property. She does not think she should pay for lawn care when she did not own the property. The council informed her she is responsible for the assessment she was given.

The council approved the purchase of the former nursing home at 217 East 14th by James and Vicki Webster. The plan is to renovate the building to create 14 upscale apartments for independent adult living. The city code enforcement officer will assist the Websters in bringing the building up to code after the renovation.

The council also approved accounts payable appropriation ordinance No. 3244 of $285,388.97 plus payroll $47,951.30 for a total of $333,340.27

Councilwoman Lori Wren asked the council to take a look at the city spending and watch what they spend. She said was a little concerned about what the city is spending its money on. Wren also informed the rest of the council there will be a Ladies Auxiliary breakfast being held on Saturday. They will be serving biscuits and gravy from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m. at the American Legion in Baxter.