The annual meeting for Balsam Township, held on Tuesday, March 14, was led by moderator Coleen Lofgren. The annual treasurer’s report was distributed and discussed with Cindy Hoppe, Township Treasurer. The 2018 Budget and Levy was discussed, and approved as follows with the 2018 proposed levy and actual budget amounts listed respectively:
• General Revenue: $21,000, $38,000
• Road & Bridge: $15,000, $15,000
• Hall: $20,000, $17,000
• Fire: $50,000, $80,000
• Cemetery: $4,000, $4,000
• Park: $14,000, $15,000
• Fire Hall Payment: $48,000, $48,000
• Total: $172,000, $217,000
Election judge wages were increased to $12/hour, plus meals, to match the county’s wages.
Assistant Fire Chief reported the annual number of runs have remained steady for the past few years. There are a couple of FEMA grants still in the process of being approved. Research is being done on purchasing a new rescue rig. There are a few opening on the department now, so new fire department members are encouraged to apply.
The road maintenance agreement with the county was approved.
The town hall is scheduled to have the floors stripped and waxed this year. The hall parking lot was discussed, with options presented to overlay the entire parking lot, or seal coat it this year, and paint lines on the lot. Further discussion will happen closer to summer.
Park Attendant Mark Lofgren reported the ice rink was painted last year. John Kannas painted “pickleball” lines on the tennis courts, and more permanent soccer goals will be further discussed at the annual park meeting next month.
Township election results were announced, stating that Jerrad Bergren will remain Balsam Township Supervisor with 17 votes, and Cindy Hoppe will remain Balsam Township Treasurer with 19 votes. The following donations were voted on and approved: $200, Elder Circle, Senior Wheels; $100, Support Within Reach; $100, Home Visitor Program; $100, Itasca County Agricultural Association; $200, First Call; $100, New Beginnings.
The Balsam Township reorganizational meeting was held Thursday, March 16. Jerrad Bergren was sworn in as supervisor. Cindy Hoppe was sworn in as Treasurer. February minutes were read and approved. Bills in the amount of $9,077.18 were approved.
The treasurer and clerk’s monthly rate was increased by $25. The Park Maintenance position was increased to $15/hour. The 2nd Assistant Fire Chief will now receive a monthly fee of $125/month.
The Great Northern Transmission Line currently under construction, and is scheduled to be through the Balsam area in 2018.
Fire Chief Beckner reported there were 10 runs last month. Annual physicals will commence this spring. The start of grass/wildfire season was mentioned. The annual payment to the Relief Association will be made next month. Lake Country Power called to state the problem with automatically reading the meter appears to have been fixed. Jerrad Bergren will begin the annual process of applying for the gambling permits for the summer gun raffle, and the Hunters Supper raffle.
Park Attendant Mark Lofgren reported that Waste Management will discount the dumpster fee by ½ due to the frozen garbage being stuck in the canister. The rink started two weeks later, and ended three weeks earlier due to weather compared to last year, but it did see steady use. Spring cleanup will commence as weather permits.