The Baldwin Village Board approved its 2022 budget during its monthly meeting earlier this month.

Budget committee officials explained they had to borrow nearly $133,000 from its excess account for it to be balanced. They stated new vehicles went for Public Works and the Police Department along with Public Works getting a new dump truck. It was also noted during the discussion, the 2022 Street repair will be from 12th Avenue from the Railroad track to Main Street and 13th Avenue from Maple to Main Street.

Borrowing from the excess account isn’t new as the Village had to use $385,000 to balance the 2021 budget. Most of those funds went toward the Franklin Street project.

Village President Lance Van Damme, while accepting the proposed plan, expressed his frustration of having to used funds from the account again.

The proposed budget passed 5-2 with members Kristine Forbes and Doug Newton voting no.

Franklin Street funds

The Franklin Street project reached its resolution during this meeting, but not without some debate.

The Board was presented with two payment options for Stout Construction, one for $104,261.60, which was without liquidated damages and the other for $86,036.60 with liquidated damages.

Public Works Director Brad Boldt laid the case for Stout Construction to receive full payment.

“These guys put in a lot of time and effort in keeping the roads and driveways open,” Boldt added.

Paul Mumm from Stout Construction opined liquidated damages means a crew gets pulled off the job for two weeks and goes somewhere else, which didn’t happen in this scenario.

A majority of the difference in the two amounts came with the fact the project finished 38 days overdue. Two weeks of that came from failure to get an easement with other factors.

Mumm responded it was hard to get work this summer due to guys refusing to work so they could receive unemployment benefits and COVID-19. He also reminded the Board Stout’s bid was $42,000 cheaper than the next contractor.

The discussion intensified when Village Attorney Paul Mahler reminded the Board, they were hassling over the Budget earlier in the meeting and now you’re rewarding $18,000 to a company, who didn’t meet a deadline?

“Adverse conditions is the biggest factor in a time line not being met,” Mahler said. “That didn’t happen here. You have a deadline and if you don’t meet it, there’s a payday penalty. You’re giving away taxpayer money.”

Mahler’s argument fell on deaf ears as the Board voted 5-2 to approve the $104,261.60 amount with Forbes and Matt Knegendorf voting no.

“We heard lots of complaints, but the road looks good,” Van Damme concluded.

In addition, the Board approved crediting Barry Lunzer $800 for his driveway replacement and reimbursing Marge Weiske $1,099.48 for irrigation repairs due to the construction.

Other action

The Board appointed Jerry Neely to the Police commission and Deb Hoy to the Planning commission. John Walker was recognized for 20-plus years of service on both the Police and Planning commissions.

Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Carlson updated the Board developers of the planned Apartment Complex, south of I-94, want to have plans to them by January and hope to start construction by May 1.

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