The relationship between Gifts for Children and the Village of Baldwin was great from the Gifts of Children’s perspective.

Until this year.

Erica Hanson voiced her frustration in front of the Village Board and those in attendance earlier this month during the Board’s monthly meeting.

“There was an unexpected election, but the employees went out of their way to help us utilize this space,” she said, speaking in the board room. “This year was different.”

Hanson stated Gifts for Children was told they couldn’t use the board room this year due to a policy in which non-Village employees couldn’t use Village space after hours, a policy she found odd, since it wasn’t a problem previously.

She went on to state Gifts for Children was accused of causing significant damage in the past and didn’t take any action to correct. Hanson believes this was due to a divider used for election purposes which fell and broke. She told a Village worker they would pay for it; she was told not to worry about it.

She also said conversations with Village officials, including Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Carlson didn’t go well.

“The phone calls were totally unprofessional,” she said. “I was called ‘Missy.’ I was told bringing my concerns would be a waste of time and that employees shouldn’t be bothered after work hours.

“I’ve been in the health care industry 20 years. If I had conversations like these, I’d be terminated.

“This experience has been awful.”

Hanson stated Gifts for Children is a small program as it is a three person operation.

“All three of us are also working full time jobs,” she said. “If we don’t have a space, we can’t do this program.”

Board President Lance Van Damme assured Hanson her concerns will be dealt with internally and that the relationship will be fine in 2022.

2022 Windmill Days

Jodi Peterson from the Windmill Days committee came to the Board asking for $5,000, the same amount, the Board donated in 2020 and 2021.

“We’d love to have that amount again,” she said. Board members asked her what the amount goes toward and she replied marketing and since COVID-19, handwashing stations.

Village Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Carlson reminded the Board funds from the American Rescue Plan Act could be earmarked for tourism, which led the Board to discuss investing another $1-2,000.

Peterson also stated a goal of hers is to get more churches involved in the festival with children’s games.

“We don’t need rides, we need stuff to keep the little ones busy,” she said, citing the old fish and duck games as possible examples.

The motion was made for the Village’s donation to be $7,000 which was passed unanimously.

No Parking Signs

The Board approved the placement of No Parking signs on 9th Avenue between Hillcrest and Summit on the west side only. This was mainly done to accommodate Shefland Trucking Service so their semis could drive through the congested parking spots.

Other items

• Carlson stated Vic Harris asked her if the Village would be interested in acquiring land parcels between 8th/9th Avenue, north of Main Street (south of the Railroad tracks) for parking lot purposes. The Board acknowledge they would be interested in hearing more.

• Approved the new rent amount of $1,100 from $900 for the Food Pantry moving into the old Homestead Vet building on Hwy. 63. Building owner Danielle Johnson said the new amount was figured after taking a look at her needs one more time. Van Damme was the only one to vote not. The funds would be coming from the American Recovery and Protection Act.

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