The township board approved spending up to $1,200 on six leather padded executive chairs. The board did say that fabric would suffice if they couldn’t find leather in their price range. Supervisor Tom Rush voted against the measure. He said he liked his “oldie but goody” chair.
“We need new chairs. As we all know, these chairs are broken,” Supervisor Kim Good said. Baldwin resident Elaine Philippi said, during the time for public comment, that padded office chairs are self-serving and only benefit those who sit on them.
Lawn tractor purchase approved
The town board voted to spend up to $40,000, including financing, for a new lawn tractor for the township. The tractor will have a snow blower attachment, broom attachment, a six-foot mower deck and will be a useful piece of equipment for the township that will last many years, board chairman Jay Swanson said. The money for the tractor will come out of the capital improvement fund. Supervisor Tom Rush voted against the purchase of the lawn tractor.
Deputy Wilson from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s office reported that the weather and road conditions have increased the number of accidents in the township and the number of snowmobile complaints. Also noted was an increase county-wide of “car prowlers.” The department is urging residents to lock their vehicles and to remove valuables from plain sight. Windows clings are available from the department and from the township office 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
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Case gave the fire department report. Case said a practice burn went well. They saw good cooperation from both the Baldwin fire department and the Princeton department. They were able to rotate teams and, in all, 20 firefighters got time in the fire.
“It was smoky and it was hot,” he said.
The town board approved four new firefighters, bringing the total number to 27 firefighters for the department. The department would like to have 30 firefighters.
Building for sale
The board approved a consignment contract with Anderson Building Movers from Paynesville to sell the white building at Young Park. The township is under no obligation to the mover if the township finds its own buyer. The white garage is 24×32 feet and is located in Young Park, off County Road 38. The concrete slab is not included and must remain intact. The board intends for the building to be gone by the end of April so that a pavilion can be installed in May. The existing concrete slab will be used for the pavilion. Interested parties may call the town hall at 763-389-8931 for more information on purchasing the white building.
Baldwin resident Wayne Thompson was appointed to a three-year term to the Baldwin Park Board. Thompson, who studied environmental science and geology in college, is excited to get on board with the township parks. Also approved was up to $500 for concrete work for a rock monument in Young Park.
Volunteers are needed to help with the Baldwin Volunteer Corps. Anyone interested in serving on the volunteer corps is encouraged to call the town hall at 763-389-8931.
Orderly annexation update
Baldwin board chairman Jay Swanson presented a draft of an orderly annexation agreement with the city of Princeton. This was intended to be a simple document focusing on the points of agreement with the city. All five board members were encouraged to look at the document, give input and changes and then the issue would be brought back to the table in April.
Tower lease agreement
Township officials are still wrestling with the tower lease with TC Assets (formerly TowerCo). The document has been sent back to the township attorney once again for review.
112th Street update
Swanson gave an update on the 112th Street project. Bids were opened at a public meeting on Monday, February 25 at the Livonia Town Hall. The low bid was received and accepted from Knife River Construction of Sauk Rapids. The total amount of the bid was $560,385.83, which was $120,000 less than the projected costs for both townships. Baldwin Township’s share of the project is estimated to be about $260,000. Construction will begin about the end of May and should be completed by early August. The project should take about 60 days to complete.
Magnesium chloride update
The town board reviewed a letter from township engineer Jon Bogart, about calcium chloride or magnesium chloride for dust control on township roads. Bogart also gave his opinion about Molex, a sugar-beet-extract product that has been used for dust control on gravel roads. Molex tends to be sticky and stinky, tracks into people’s vehicles and houses, discolors the roads and needs multiple applications in order to be effective, he said.
“It would be like putting molasses on the roads,” Good said.
The town board intends to find out more information about dust control measures at the Minnesota Association of Townships meeting in April. The township is considering applying magnesium chloride to a stretch of gravel road near Sandy Lake. The purpose is to reduce the number of times the road needs to be graded and for dust control.
Good gave an update on whether or not the auditor hired to do the township annual report will be able to attend the annual meeting of the township on Tuesday, March 12. As it turns out, the communication with the auditor was that he would have the report ready for the annual meeting, not necessarily that he would attend the meeting in person in order to answer residents’ questions. Nevertheless, he is trying to make himself available to Baldwin Township, including changing a meeting in Iowa so that he can make it to the township meeting.
Signage for Goose Lake
The board approved signage for the new park at Goose Lake. The sign will be 13×15 and will be similar in design to the sign at Young Park.