What made board members change their minds on 112th Street?

At the March 2011 Baldwin Township annual meeting, voters authorized an extra $100,000 for road repairs. This vote came after the town board chairman explained how additional ongoing preventative maintenance would reduce major road repairs in the future.

At the 2012 annual meeting voters disagreed with a proposed complete resurfacing of 136th Street. Voters did approve limited specific repairs as necessary.

In July the Baldwin Town Board approved a $407,000 complete resurfacing of one mile of 112th Street. This may be the most expensive Baldwin project ever without voter discussion. This one project will consume the entire 2013 road repair budget plus half of the 2014 road repair budget.

What is most interesting is that the exact same project was disapproved last November by a 4 – 1 vote. Then in July it was approved 3 – 2.

The two consistent dissenting votes were from the Baldwin town board sub-committee that had just completed a road tour to identify the roads in the worst condition. Their list did not even include the 112th Street project in question much less a high priority. Something significant must have caused two other town board members to change their minds on this project.

Furthermore, the 112th Street project is in front of a Baldwin town board member’s residence. Should he have abstained from voting? Yes!

Actually, he made a new motion to approve after it had been disapproved back in November.

It is time for a Baldwin special town meeting to ask what caused two members of the town board members to change their vote and why 112th Street deserves $407,000. This will also be a good opportunity to hear about the 2013 budget in general. Last March the voters approved the 2013 levy but did not see a corresponding proposed budget of how the money will be spent.

 

Chuck Nagle

Baldwin Township

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