Baldwin Township to install address signs

Baldwin Township residents should be seeing address signs at the entrances to their property in the near future.

The town board has approved a measure to purchase and install the signs at no cost to the public.

The signs will be paid for through funds from Sherburne County that have been collected and paid to the township as proceeds from traffic fines, Supervisor Kimberly Good said.

The county has paid the township a little over $50,000, which sits in the township road and bridge account. Because it is estimated to cost about $55,000 to print and install the address signs, the township board approved a $5,000 expenditure from the same road and bridge fund to cover the remaining cost of the project, Good said.

The signs will be blue in color and will include the street name and address of the property in white letters.

A citizens’ committee last year made a push for a green sign decorated with what looked like a large oak tree.

But the Baldwin Fire Department and Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department spoke out against a green sign because they have a potential to blend in with vegetation.

“These signs do what they are intended to do,” Good said, noting that white letters against a reflective blue background will allow emergency services personnel to easily identify township properties when called to fires, medical responses or other emergencies.

“We understand that some residents prefer a more aesthetically pleasing sign,” said Good, pointing out that the signs have an ability to not only serve as an address marker, but as a beautification project.

“But there’s a cost factor to that,” she said. “Their true intent is for public safety purposes.”

Good calls Baldwin’s proposed signs cost-effective and complimentary to a resident’s property. It’s a sign that fits all the needs for which it’s intended.

And because the signs are coming in at the $55,000 area, there will be no cost born by the township property owners. That comes after the township board originally thought a special assessment might be necessary with property owners footing all — or some — of the bill.

The sign project has been in the works since 2009, Good said. That’s when a group of residents advocated for the signs at the annual meeting.

The township Government Innovations Task Force also worked on the signs and gave the project its final push, Good said.