County law enforcement personnel attended to 2,012 calls for service or arrests in Big Lake Twp. in 2012, County Sheriff Joel Brott reported to the township board Wednesday. Calls include traffic offenses, assaults and domestics, property damage, disorderly conduct and burglaries. Calls in 2012 were similar to the number of the prior year but down significantly from 2010 activity, he reported. Serious criminal activity was quite low, with two assaults, 17 burglaries, three narcotics and 15 DUI apprehensions. There also were two criminal sexual conduct cases, 62 theft, 39 criminal damage to property and no homicides. DUI arrests were up slightly over preceeding years, while assaults, burglaries and narcotics investigations were at or below prior year levels. Sheriff Brott also reported his sheriff’s department was named 2012 outstanding law enforcement agency, presented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He cited Sergeant Chris Aoleshire as the outstanding law enforcement officer of the year by the American Legion. Brott’s office has also been involved with local law enforcement to promote Project Lifesaver, which registers at-risk individuals and provides wristbands so law enforcement can track them if they walk away from safety. Currently six registered individuals are with the program. And - his drug free coalition continues to work with school students, surveying sixth, ninth and 12th graders for substance use. He also advises drivers to pick up a window cling for their vehicle to serve as a visual reminder to lock their vehicle and valuables. Vision Barn Re-Use The former Vision Enterprises (bus company) garage on Co. Rd. 43 will see a re-use, given action of the township Wednesday. They approved a conditional use permit for seasonal storage, reduced minimum acreage for such use from 20 to two acres and conversion of an ag building for rental purposes. Marc Schneider and Roger Millner of Vision, headquartered in Annandale, spoke with the board and explained their hope would be to secure a single renter for the dozen-stall building. Meanwhile, the building would be available for rental for boats, RVs, vehicles, etc., on an appointment-only basis, with likely the largest traffic coming in the spring and autumn months. “Well, that’s a lot less traffic than a bus garage,” said Supervisor Norm Leslie. “I walk by there. I’m tired of seeing that damned thing empty.” The property, developed by the Hesley family when they owned the bus service in the 1980’s, has been vacant for the last six years. The township action will go on to the county for final ratification. Hospital Activity Richard Helms, township representative to the New River Medical Center Board, spoke of developments during the past week. Wednesday, the new CentraCare governing group approved the hiring of interim CEO Mary Ellen Wells to assume the job of Marshall Smith, who resigned his position Monday. He also reported he met with Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer to raise concerns over the illegal use of drugs manufactured in New England. He cited 15 Minnesota hospitals, doctors and clinics which are under suspicion for use of those drugs. Lastly, he reported the hospital has approved a general property tax levy of $300,000 for 2013. In other action, the board approved appointment of judges for their March 12 general township election - Rita Petersen, Debbie Workman, Chris Dokkebakken and Joyce LeClaire.