Baldwin Briefs: $33,000 tractor eyed

baldwinThe board discussed the purchase of a lawn tractor for the township. The lower of the two state contract bids was from Sharber and Sons in Rogers in the amount of $33,336, without a snow blower attachment.

The township received $4,000 from an insurance settlement from the last lawn tractor that the township owned. The board was in disagreement on two points. First, was whether or not the township needed such an expensive lawn tractor and second, how they were going to pay for it.

On the first point, Supervisor Randy Atwood said, “It seems like a lot of money to me.” Supervisor Kim Good responded that the township would see some serious longevity from this piece of equipment. “We are getting to where we have grounds to mow,” Board Chairman Jay Swanson said. “We made the commitment to parks; we need to make the commitment to having the proper equipment.”

As to the issue of where the money should come from, Supervisors Good and Handshoe were in favor of taking money from the Road and Bridge Fund. “We definitely have the money for the lawn tractor in Road and Bridge,” Good said.

“I don’t want to touch Road & Bridge,” responded Supervisor Tom Rush. Swanson favored talking to people about funding and financing. “This piece of equipment should come out of capital improvements,” he said. The issue was tabled until Tuesday, February 19.


Annual sheriff’s report

Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott gave the 2012 annual report for Baldwin Township. The Sherburne County sheriff’s office provides law enforcement services to the citizens of Baldwin Township. The total number of calls for service in 2012, was 1,892, which was up slightly from 2011.

The sheriff’s office received an award for the 2012 Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In 2013, the sheriff’s department is forming a Drug Free Coalition to partner with law enforcement, school districts, churches and health care clinics in order to prevent substance abuse among youth, and promote safe and healthy choices among all community members. This coalition is being a formed through a grant.

Also, the department is designing a program to prevent thefts from automobiles. Window clings are available to remind people to remove valuable items and to lock their vehicles. “Don’t leave it….where thieves can see it,” is the program’s motto.


Fire department news

Fire chief Mike Rademacher said January was a very busy month for the department. Of the 32 calls for the month, most were medicals:  chest pain, difficulty breathing and such, Rademacher said.

“It is good you are here to respond,” Swanson said.

The board approved purchasing wireless Internet cards for the department at a total cost $1,260 for the year. This money is in the fire department budget out of the communications line item, Rademacher said.

Saturday, February 23, the Baldwin and Princeton fire departments will team up for a practice burn at a house on Elk Lake.


Parks update

Baldwin Township will soon be taking bids for a 24×32-foot garage building located at Young Park. The concrete foundation will remain and must remain intact. Bidding parties must have liability insurance to move the building, as the township will not be liable for the building once off park premises. A minimum bid, if any, has not yet been determined. All money raised will go toward the purchase of a new pavilion at Young Park that will set on the current concrete foundation. It is hoped that the white building will be removed by the end of April, so that the pavilion can be installed in May.

The board also discussed the required signage for the township’s new park at Goose Lake. The sign is projected to cost $150 and sample designs will be brought back to a future meeting.


Volunteer Corps

During the Baldwin Volunteer Corps update, it was noted that the Initiative Foundation application was not quite ready yet, but it wasn’t quite due yet either. The volunteer corps will work on the application and bring it back to the board.


Orderly annexation

There was no update on the orderly annexation agreement with the city of Princeton. “We are still stalled because of me,” Swanson said. There is a consensus among the Baldwin town board that they want to take the agreement one step at a time. They want a simple document that focuses on what Baldwin and the city of Princeton agree on already.


Tower lease agreement

The board discussed a lease with SBA 2012 TC Assets, LLC (formerly TowerCo). It appears that the original agreement was changed quite a bit in the new agreement, so the board decided to forward it to the township attorney. The board wants the attorney to answer specific questions and to compare the previous contract to the new proposed contract.

“They would like us to get this done quicker than later, but we are under no obligation,” Swanson said.


Election judges


Baldwin Township Clerk Cathy Stevens will appoint six election judges from the list of approved and trained judges in the township, to serve during the upcoming township elections on Tuesday, March 12. The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The annual meeting will follow at 8:01 p.m. The board approved the proposed list of election judges with the exception of Deputy Clerk Cheryl Dobson. For the last two elections (the primary and general in 2012), the township had to pay overtime wages because Dobson worked as an election judge.


Clean-up day

Baldwin Township will hold its annual clean-up day on Saturday, May 18 at the town hall. The approved vendors are Jim’s Mille Lacs Disposal, Inc. and Battery Wholesale Inc. (BWI) from St. Cloud. Jim’s will handle tires, appliances, steel and electronics, and BWI will handle the batteries. Hazardous waste pick-up will be a few days later, on Wednesday, May 22 at the town hall.


Driveway permits

The board discussed the township’s driveway permit application. It was noted that culverts are not always required but are required only at the township engineer’s discretion. Many residents mistakenly believe, because of the way the application is worded, that a culvert is always required. No action was taken on this issue.

The Baldwin township offices will be closed Monday, February 18, in observance of Presidents’ Day.