KRISTIE WOOLARD, right, will be retiring from her position as deputy clerk with Big Lake Twp. in mid-February after 13 years in the position. She previously served seven years with Big Lake City. Succeeding her in the township job will be Barb Krzmarcik of Becker. (Photos by Gary W. Meyer)
Big Lake and Orrock residents can circle a new date on their 2013 calendars. Sat., May 18, that is. The revised date for the annual townships-city trash day was approved by the township board Wednesday; it has always been on the first Saturday of May since the program was started in the mid-90’s. Township Clerk Laura Hayes notified supervisors Wednesday that Allied Waste, which processes most of the trash from the collection, is having difficulty getting as many compactor units on site that first Saturday in May, due to the fact they hold other collections that weekend. They proposed moving the collection date to May 18, at which time they would have adequate compactor units to handle the load. The May 18 collection will fall one week after Mothers Day and fishing opener; and one week ahead of Memorial Day. It is held to allow residents of Big Lake and Orrock townships and Big Lake City to clean out their garages and houses of everything from tires to appliances - and junk. It is held at the township maintenance garage on 166th Street. Chimney Swifts Trentin Pepin, member of the Big Lake Scouts, secured support of the supervisors for a proposed Eagle Scout project at Lions Park. Pepin, 17, is proposing to construct a 12-foot high “chimney,” a nesting space for chimney swifts, in hopes of drawing more of them to the area. Chimney swifts used to be plentiful in years past, as they built nests in chimneys. But with the passing of chimneys from housing, the birds have depleted in population, he said. His effort, an 18x18-inch apparatus with space for nesting inside, should provide that opportunity, he said. It will be built off-site in sections, then assembled on a concrete base somewheres in Lions Park. The project will cost about $1,000; he will first solicit local businesses for donations, then meet again with the township to make final plans, which could lead to summer construction. “No question,” said Supervisor Norm Leslie. “We’re here to help you.” The township has been the benefactor of several Eagle Scout projects in past years. Parkland Annexed Supervisors approved a request by BL City Administrator Todd Bodem for annexation of about 12 acres in three parcels of land adjacent to the former approximate 30-acre Shady River Campgrounds on Co. Rd. 5, which the city purchased last year. The annexation will be through ordinance. The township will lose about $345 in annual property taxes due to the annexation, but the supervisors felt it was an appropriate re-use of the land. Bodem said the parkland will not be developed in the near future; rather, it will serve as a passive recreation area, with boat launches to the adjacent Elk River. “It (the land) goes for a public purpose,” said Treasurer Ken Warneke. “I don’t have an issue with it.” The supervisors felt likewise. In Other Action In other action, the supervisors: * Accepted the resignation of Deputy Clerk Kristi Woolard after 13 years with the township. She is retiring. She will be succeeded by Barb Krzmarcik of Becker; * Approved the recommendation of Warneke to retain auditing services of Tom Kaliher of KBP ad Co., of Waconia, who quoted them $2,000 for an audit of fixed assets and $3,500 for their annual financial audit. Those numbers are the same as the past several years; * Heard from Cpt. Steve Doran there were no incidents to be reported from the township, other than the fatal crash on Co. Rd. 15 two weeks ago; * They will host the quarterly meeting of the county association of townships Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.; * Commissioner Ewald Petersen reported Co. Rd. 15 reconstruction will begin in 2013 with three segments to be done, the northernmost first. He also reported Co. Rd. 73 will be upgraded from Manitou Street to the new bridge; * Noted three donations to the local fire department, $6,500 from the Elk River Lions Club for purchase of rescue equipment, for $2,000 from the Eddy Foundation for purchase of non-budgeted capital items, and for $1,000 from the Big Lake American Legion toward the purchase of a rescue ATV.