Baldwin Briefs: May 6 meeting

The following news items are from the May 6 meeting of the Baldwin Township Board. They were compiled by writer Audrey Misiura.

Sheriff’s report
Deputy Wilson from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s office reported 205 calls for the month. Of those, 64 were traffic stops and 12 were property damage accidents related to weather. Supervisor Larry Handshoe asked if there were any citations for weight restriction violations for the township. Wilson responded that there is a designated officer working the entire county. He will bring a report about weight restriction citations for the June meeting.

Fire department
Northeast Sherburne Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Rademacher reported 17 calls for the month of April. Calls included 10 medical calls, one personal injury call, five fire calls, one structure fire and one mutual aid call.

Fire Department garage sale
A garage sale will be held Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18, at the Baldwin Township fire station, 30239 128th St.. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the fire department’s relief association.

Relief Association dance
Saturday, Aug. 24, has been set for the annual fire department dance at Ridgewood Bay. Fire Department officials said they hope that the earlier date will ensure the weather will be more predictable.

Note of thanks
Northeast Sherburne Fire and Rescue received a note of thanks from Baldwin residents Dwain and Sheryl Ford who were affected by a recent fire. In part, their letter stated, “Your quick response and professionalism clearly prevented what could have been a disaster as the fire was burning only a few feet from the house. As homeowners we have not needed services from the fire department until this event. We are truly thankful for what you do.”

ISO certification
The fire department recently underwent testing for a new ISO rating. The Insurance Services Office collects information about fire departments throughout the United States and assigns a rating to that fire department. This information is available to insurance companies and underwriters, who may use this information when setting the rates for homeowner’s insurance. Ratings are from a Class 1 to Class 10. Class 1 is for exemplary fire protection. Class 10 indicates that the fire department does not meet minimum criteria. Rademacher said they are keeping their fingers crossed and are hopeful of a better rating. The results will be available in six to eight months, he said. The Baldwin Fire Department is currently rated a Class 9. Baldwin resident Jerry Davis said during open forum for citizens that he was unhappy that his homeowner’s insurance went up $161 last year.
“We are paying taxes to support the fire department and now we get penalized,” he said.

Variances for lakeshore property
Baldwin Township resident Tim Rybek requested five variances to accommodate improvements he plans to make to his lakeshore property. The Baldwin Town Board gave a favorable opinion on all five variance requests. As part of Sherburne County’s variance process, Baldwin Township needed to give an opinion on the variances.
“We are not saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’; we are just giving an opinion,” said Board  Chairman Jay Swanson. A decision on granting the variances will be made by Sherburne County. The neighbors on either side of Rybek’s property have no problems with the proposed improvements. A shoreline improvement permit has already been granted and work will begin this summer.
However, at a Sherburne County Planning and Zoning meeting Thursday, May 9, the variance requests were tabled. Revised plans will be brought to the board of adjustment in June, according to Lynn Waytashek, Sherburne County assistant zoning administrator.

Improvements to 142nd Street
Township Engineer Jon Bogart talked about ways to use up some unspent grant money in Baldwin Township. Bogart is considering installing a permeable bituminous pavement on a section of 142nd Street that has a lot of drainage issues.
“If this works, it will solve a lot of problems,” Bogart said.
Bogart will bring back numbers to the May 21 meeting.
“Timing isn’t the greatest,” he said, “because the money has to be spent this year.” This project may qualify for a $25,000 grant, he said.

Agreement with Princeton
The board is working on some clarification to the annexation agreement with the city of Princeton and plans to present it to the Princeton City Council soon. Township supervisors said they would like to find some common ground and work from there.
“We are just trying to say ‘Let’s be good to one another,’” Swanson said.