|3/21/2013 11:29:00 AM|
Amador Township annual meeting officials share news of equipment costs; 2014 levy is same as this year's
by PAUL RIGNELL
Amador Township voting was sparse and uneventful March 12, as only 25 residents cast ballots for the unchallenged seat of clerk, held by Terri Lind, and one township supervisor, Jim Stockwell, who was up for election. The votes were unanimous for both positions, as each participant at the polls darkened their ovals for Lind and Stockwell with no hint of a write-in campaign.
When the polls closed at 8 p.m. and officials shifted focus to the annual business meeting at the town hall in Almelund, Bruce Pederson, who was elected meeting moderator, said he wished more would have voted through the day. 4“Obviously, there’s not a whole lot of controversy going on in the township,” he said.
On a positive note, seating at the evening meeting was close to capacity, as the number of residents there to hear the presentations came close to the voting turnout. Public safety was an early topic, and Fire Chief Bruce Ahlstrand gave department data for the year 2012. He said that his crews were called on 59 runs through the year in their district (and for mutual aid) including areas of Amador, Shafer, Sunrise and Chisago Lake townships. Those calls included 16 fires and 37 medical responses. The department hopes that a third try will be a charm in the process of ordering new tanks for the two tanker trucks.
“The problem with our old (and original) tanks is they’re splitting apart,” Ahlstrand said at the meeting. A first bid from a manufacturer based in Phoenix was declined when the department learned the tanks would cost $20,000 each, plus up to an extra $4,000 for shipment, excluding installation. Further work in the process turned toward a regional or state-based firm. “We’re making the effort to find someone local,” Ahlstrand said. The first attempt at securing a local deal came with a quoted price of more than $100,000, however.
Officials are confident that more recent contact with Custom Fire of Osceola, will come with more favorable costs later in March. The fire department’s tankers are not the only public vehicles to get upgrades or repairs this year, as a road grader that doubles as a snow plow received a rebuilt motor and transmission. Gene Fisk, another of Amador’s three town supervisors, said that a call came from the grader operator last Aug. 17 when the transmission broke down while the rig was out with four loads of gravel left to spread. Officials thought the motor, which was new in the mid-1990s and had accumulated 8,000 service hours, was good to go after one rebuild by Ziegler Cat of Columbus, Minn.
But the equipment went back to Ziegler after more trouble Dec. 9, which was the morning of this winter’s first major storm. The township paid $53,000 for the motor rebuild and was charged nothing more when the equipment had to be returned. When Amador took back possession of the grader for the second time, “(Ziegler) said, ‘see you later,’” as if the maintenance had been routine, according to Fisk. “I said, ‘I hope not.’”
Amador is keeping its overall township levy for 2014 the same as approved for 2013, at a total of $322,000 (the levy was $315,000 in 2012). Among other reports at the annual meeting, Lin Strong, Amador supervisor, said that a date had not been determined for the community spring recycling event but residents will be notified by postcard when that day is scheduled. When the snow stops falling and begins melting, spring also brings baseball and softball, and Carl Abbott, a parent volunteer for the children’s programs in Amador and Almelund, reported at the town meeting that registration numbers are already higher for 2013 than in 2012. He said there are more 5-year-olds entering the program, and some community families who were registering in North Branch are coming back to Almelund. Remaining sign-up sessions for the youth programs are scheduled 10 a.m. to noon March 23, April 6 and April 20 in the old fire hall.