Baldwin approves budget

The Baldwin Township Board has agreed upon a workable budget for 2013.

The agreement came Tuesday, Dec. 18, during the board’s last meeting of 2012.

The Baldwin Township Board met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

After an extended, drawn-out, red-eye meeting, the board finally had a plan board members felt was realistic for the coming year for the three major funds: general, road & bridge and fire department.

The amount budgeted in each fund is higher than the amount of money levied, but the township will count on additional money from grants, taxes and penalties to meet its obligations above the levied amount.

Supervisor Tom Rush said he would like to see the board work harder to reduce the numbers. Wages, engineering fees and lawyer fees, that’s where the money goes, he said.

Board chair Jay Swanson agreed they needed to work for change, but stated they also need to face reality.

Rush said that being in the banking business, he doesn’t like to see a miscellaneous category over $100 in any fund.  He suggested that any item over $100 charged to miscellaneous be brought before the board for approval.

Tentative budgets for each of the three funds were approved contingent on the clerk going through the numbers when she has a clear conscience and a clear mind, Swanson said.


Hauling request

Baldwin resident Scott Schmidt was again at the meeting asking the town board for permission to haul about 300 cubic yards of spoil from Elk Lake. Schmidt has secured approval from the DNR and Sherburne County planning and zoning, he just needs township approval before he can move forward on the project. Schmidt’s legal counsel has advised against signing the restrictive land use agreement that the township drew up because of the liability it placed on him personally. A contractor, who is licensed and bonded, has been hired for the project so it was decided that would cover any damage to the roads. Swanson assured Schmidt that they would be able to reach an agreement soon.


In fire department news:

• The officer election results are in and Mike Rademacher will remain fire chief while Scott Case will be the assistant chief. Robin Fischer, Larry Boeke and Gary Taylor will be the captains in 2013.

• The board approved the purchase of three new sets of turnout gear in addition to the four sets approved earlier this fall, for a total of seven new sets of gear for the department. Cost of each set is $1,700 and is in the budget.

• The new ice rescue sled is in. Firefighters are currently training on Elk Lake, Rademacher reported.


In other news:

• The board approved the 112th Street joint powers agreement with Livonia Township. It was noted that no turn lanes have been approved for the Baldwin side of the project.

• $10,000 was transferred back to the road and bridge fund.

• Supervisor Randy Atwood is working with an insurance company to resolve the stolen property claims the township has for a boat motor and a lawn mower. The township hopes for a settlement soon so they can use the money to replace the items.

During open forum for citizens, a resident on 283rd Avenue reported a snowmobile accident at the end of his driveway. He said he had mentioned the culvert problem before to the board, stating it was a safety issue and someone was going to get hurt. “I pointed this out and the township let me down”, he said, noting the financial harm the incident caused him.

• Chuck Nagle suggested during open forum for citizens that perhaps the new auditor might attend the annual township meeting in March in order to answer residents’ questions.


Notes of thanks

Swanson read a note from some residents who were very happy with the job the township is doing with snowplowing. Also, it was noted that the UPS drivers appreciate the new EMS signs.