Below are summaries of news that occurred during the July 16, 2013 meeting of the Baldwin Township Board. They were compiled by Audrey Misiura. Supervisor Tom Rush chaired the meeting in Jay Swanson’s absence.
No response on annexation agreement
Baldwin Township Supervisor Tom Rush said that the Township sent a proposed annexation agreement to the Princeton mayor and city council last month. So far, the Township has not received a response from the City.
Meanwhile, a Baldwin business, Distinctive Door, requested annexation of about 2.87 acres to the City of Princeton and the request was approved by the Princeton City Council on Thursday, July 11, 2013.
Baldwin Town Board will send a letter to the Princeton mayor asking if he is willing to talk and keep communications open about a possible annexation agreement.
According to the minutes of the Princeton City Council study session on July 2, 2013 (available online at www.princetonmn.org), the Council voted to table the proposed annexation agreement indefinitely.
In the meeting notes, Princeton City Administrator Mark Karnowski called the document a “unilateral proposal formulated solely by Baldwin Township.”
Since the document copy the City received did not specify what had been altered from the agreement former Mayor Riddle gave to Baldwin Township last fall, Karnowski “took the liberty” to prepare an annotated comparison.
Karnowski then discussed five “critical changes” that he saw within the proposed Baldwin agreement.
Karnowski asserted that mayor Riddle’s 2012 agreement was based on the concept that an individual property owner should have the right to determine whether to annex or not and that generally, that decision shouldn’t be imposed by either the city or the township. The proposed Baldwin agreement appears to vacate that concept and (gives) the Township the right to determine what the property owner can or cannot do with their property, according to the meeting notes.
Abra Autobody is moving to Baldwin
Business owner Kedrick Johnson, Elk River, said he plans to relocate his business Abra Autobody from Princeton to the Baldwin Township location that was formerly Jim’s Auto Repair.
Most of Abra Autobody’s business is expected to be cars and light trucks. Also offered will be boat and trailer repairs and RV, ATV and personal watercraft repairs. Abra Autobody will also offer mobile auto glass services. The business will maintain 15 employees, more or less. Proposed hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m and Saturday 9 a.m.-12 P.m.
Safety-Kleen is their primary waste disposal vendor, Johnson said. Team Safety handles their hazardous waste disposal and keeps them up to date on all the regulations. It is hoped to have the business completely moved by this fall, he said.
Boardwalks at Young Park
Township engineer Jon Bogart explained the alternate plan for installing the boardwalks at Young Park. The plan is to use two-inch galvanized pipe with augers on the bottom to hold the pipe in the ground. The pipes will go about 4 feet deep.
The auger method is commonly used for these types of wetland project areas, Bogart said. The wetland permit will not be affected because the environmental impact is not changing, according to Bill Bronder of the Sherburne SWCD.
Bogart said that the Township may already have some of the equipment necessary to install the boardwalks using the auger method. Although this process will cost more than was planned, some material previously purchased will be returned to offset the costs.
The Township plans to hire out the installation of the boardwalks because the volunteers are so busy this time of year and because expertise is needed so as not to disturb the wetlands, Rush said.
Final plans will be brought to the August 5 meeting for township approval and bids will go out shortly after that, Rush said.
Drainage problems near Elk Lake
Christy Miller, 285th Avenue near Elk Lake, showed the Baldwin board members a short video clip highlighting the drainage problems at her Elk Lake home.
Miller says the problem is so bad that she has to shovel nine five-gallon buckets of debris off her driveway every time it rains.
Miller, who has been asking for over eight years to have the problems fixed, says she has been as patient as possible. “You’ve got money for everything else,” she said.
Supervisors Kim Good and Larry Handshoe, along with Bogart, have committed to meeting with Miller to discuss the issue and possible solutions. “I promise we will try to fix these problems,” Good said.
Supervisor Larry Handshoe reported that the mowing of the road right of ways went better than expected this summer. Previously, the township equipment would break down mid-way the project. This year, the Township decided to rent equipment and was able to get the job done in 32 man hours and 158 gallons of fuel, for a total cost of $3,042. Last year it took over 60 man hours to complete the job and repairs cost more than what it cost this year to rent the equipment.
Crack sealing has been put off until fall. Bogart, said that when the temperatures get cooler, the crack sealing will be more effective.
The gravel road near Elk Lake that is slated for calcium chloride is being prepared for the application, which should happen within a couple of weeks.
Soil borings on 100th Street
Independent Testing Technologies, Inc. of Waite Park has been contracted to perform soil borings on 100th Street in Baldwin Township.
Twenty-seven borings are planned to a depth of ten feet at each location.
A report from ITT will indicate the soil types found and recommendations for sub-grade correction, preparation and pavement design.
Work will begin within three weeks and will be completed in two days.
Grant for 142nd Street
The Baldwin Township board approved submitting a cost share application for an Elk River Watershed Association (ERWA) clean water funds grant for the 142nd Street project. Bill Bonder of the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) said that submitting a cost share application does not obligate the Township to the project; it simply encumbers the funds so the ERWA cannot give the money to someone else. The funds available right now total almost $8,000, with the possibility of more grant money becoming available for the project.
The grant can cover up to 75 percent of the project’s total costs.
Fire department relief association
Jim Oliver reported that the Relief Association gave out its first $500 scholarship this year. The relief association had a goal to give back to the community and is glad to now have enough money to sustain an annual scholarship to a Baldwin high school graduate, Oliver said.
The relief association will purchase a wall plaque to honor the annual scholarship recipients. The Township board approved wall space for the plaque in the town hall.
Criteria for the scholarship include Baldwin Township residency, a 3.0 grade point average or higher and an essay competition. A committee reviews the applicants and chooses a winner. A few extra points are awarded if a competitor is a son or daughter of a Baldwin firefighter.
The 2013 recipient was Kenneth Cowles.
Oliver reported a Relief Association fund balance of $384,207. The association is currently self-supporting, he said.
Baldwin fire department openings
The Baldwin fire department has a few openings for individuals who can respond to daytime calls. If interested, contact the township office for an application.
Vendors needed for Baldwin FunFest
Baldwin’s annual FunFest will be held Saturday, September 21st, 2013 at Young Park. Vendors are needed for the FunFest. Booth fee will be $15. Vendor applications can be obtained by calling the township office at 763-389-8931.
Word of thanks
Rush acknowledged and publicly thanked Lester Kriesel for his work at the Baldwin Cemetery. Kriesel’s knowledge and dedication to the Baldwin Cemetery is appreciated, Rush said.
Judy Thorson was recently appointed for a three-year term on the Baldwin Planning Commission. The planning commission meets at 7pm on the second Thursday of each month at the Baldwin Town Hall.