Baldwin, Zimmerman look to share fire services

The Northeast Sherburne Fire Department (Baldwin Fire Department) could be working more closely with its neighbor to the south in the future.

The Baldwin Township board approved applying for a shared services grant with the Zimmerman–Livonia Fire Department.

If approved for the grant, the fire department will receive non binding recommendations for how the departments could pool resources and streamline fire department services for area residents.

An example comes in the form of winter rescues.

The board accepted $2,200 from the Zimmerman–Livonia Fire Department for the purchase of ice rescue equipment.

The Baldwin Fire Department can be called into Zimmerman and Livonia Township to assist in winter emergencies, like ice rescues.

“We are now within $400 of our goal for this project. We will have the equipment soon,” Fire Chief Mike Rademacher said.

The Baldwin Township board approved purchasing four sets of turnout gear for the Baldwin Fire Department at it’s November 13 meeting. Each set will cost about $1,700, according to Rademacher. The department will be reimbursed for one of the sets by a Minnesota DNR grant.

The board also acted on the following fire department items:

• Approved selling a boat in the spring.

• Approved hiring a new fire fighter, pending physical.

• Approved a leave of absence for a fire fighter.


Retreat given use permit

The board approved an interim use permit for Norwegian Wood Retreat, a retreat facility owned by Debra Sorenson. According to a written statement by Sorenson, the growth of business has been good, tripling the amount of activity from last year. The facility is primarily a bed-and-breakfast but also hosts weekend retreats for scrapbookers, quilters and knitters.

In other township news…

– The board rejected a request for a road tour with the township engineer. “We already have a good idea what our roads are like. I cannot see spending the money on a road tour,” Supervisor Larry Handshoe said. The road tour with the township engineer would have cost the township $3,000.

– The board formally accepted a donation by Swantec in the amount of $4,170. This was for 70 hours of labor to build the boardwalk frames for Young Park. “It’s all about the community,” Supervisor Jay Swanson said.

– The township board approved a list of seasonal snowplow drivers, including three new drivers.

– The board approved spending up to $3,000 for a rear sander for truck No. 4.

– Approval was given for up to $1,000 worth of repairs for truck No. 1.