City responds to annexation plan
The city of Princeton has responded to an annexation plan presented to it by Baldwin Township.
The bottom line? The township draft doesn’t meet any of the city’s annexation goals and instead complicates the annexation issue, according to a letter to the township drafted by City Administrator Mark Karnowski.
“It’s the consensus of those city officials that have been involved in the joint discussions that it’s unlikely more time spent on developing a mutually acceptable proposal will result in such a document ever being adopted,” Karnowski wrote.
The city will continue its practice of granting annexations only when a property owner petitions for annexation, Karnowski said.
Said Baldwin Chairman Jay Swanson, “It’s very unfortunate that the meeting was received as it was.”
“I, myself, would like to continue a dialog with the city,” Swanson said.
Board members will draft a letter to the entire city council expressing their desire to continue working towards an orderly annexation agreement.
Forum gets facilitator
There will be two candidate forums in Baldwin Township on Saturday, March 3 and Saturday, March 10, both at the Baldwin Town Hall. The League of Women Voters will be coming to Baldwin Township to facilitate the forums. They will send invitations to candidates, distribute promotional materials, choose question formats and serve as moderators at the forum.
Supervisor Kimberly Good solicited the organization after the township received complaints from concerned residents about previous candidate forums, including allegations that some questions were not being presented to candidates.
In other township news:
n The board authorized culvert work to be done in conjunction with a Livonia Township project on 277th St. Livonia is reconstructing its portion of 277th St. but water pools on a corner on the Baldwin Township quadrant of the intersection. Plans call for going under one driveway on the Baldwin side of the road to eliminate the pooling. Livonia will bear all costs regarding the project.
n Township meeting information will be more accessible to the public. Starting with the January 17 regular meeting, two copies of meeting agenda packets will be available for viewing by the public. Currently there is just one. In addition, the meeting packet is now available for download from the township website, located on the Internet at http://baldwintownship.govoffice.com.
n A township tractor will have its clutch repaired at a cost of about $3,000. Timmer Implement will do the work.
n Baldwin Township residents have moved closer to having fire number signs at the entrance to their properties. The board authorized completing the project in 2012 and funding signs, posts and their installation with funds that had been previously allocated to a street project on 112th Street that was budgeted but failed to gain board approval.
n Maintenance worker Terry Carlile will retire February 1. The board authorized keeping Carlile on-call as a part-time maintenance worker on an as-needed basis.
n The board hired HBH Consultants of Sauk Rapids on a four-month contract and they will assist the township in seeking grants from the Otto Bremer Foundation, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Athwin Foundation. The $2,500 contract could bring in $35,000 in grant moneys. Under terms of the contract, HBH Consultants will also provide three hours of one-on-one grant research and writing training.
n The board authorized its engineer to seek a grant for a feasibility study of a wastewater treatment program in the town of Baldwin. A wastewater treatment plant was first proposed last fall as a means of helping a township trailer park in meeting state wastewater mandates.
n Maintenance workers who drive township vehicles, including snowplow drivers, will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing under a measure approved by the board. The testing is mandated by the state Department of Transportation. The township is joining a consortium which will oversee the testing program.