One could tell Matt Knegendorf was conflicted during the Feb. 12 Village of Baldwin board meeting.
The trustee started talking about a meeting he recently had with Village Department Heads about building space for each of their departments.
Knegendorf commented on how the Library wants/needs extra space (which was later confirmed by Director Rebecca Dixen) and how Police Officers are having to share desks.
Frustration was increasing in Knegendorf’s voice as he recalled a statement made during the meeting.
“Why are we doing this meeting?” he said. “Nothing will get done.”
Which lead to his conflict.
“I’m on the Board to see this Village grow and prosper,” Knegendorf continued. Yet at the same time, he was asking himself and maybe everyone else in attendance, “Do I want to raise taxes?”
He was asking his fellow Board members if they’d be willing to enter into a Concept Plan for facilities that house Village departments.
“Go walk around (those facilities) if you haven’t yet,” Knegendorf said. “I challenge you.”
Village President Willy Zevenbargen said he’s seen the back of the EMS building standing at the Food Pantry “and it’s not good.”
Fellow trustee Duane Russett was on board with Knegendorf’s idea immediately, saying not thinking five to 10 years down the road is a mistake.
After multiple ‘what if’s’ were discussed, it was agreed to enter into a study with SEH, not to exceed $20,000 on a long-range facility study of Village buildings, or how it was phrased by Village Engineer Erik Henningsgard, ‘What you have versus what you need’.
It’s quite possible what Knegendorf envisioned for village owned buildings came next on the meeting agenda when a master plan for Bailey, Creamery and Mill Pond Parks were presented.
Among the items on the list was the construction of a shelter at Creamery Park. The shelter was described in the plan as a ‘focal point from Main Street and the Downtown Commercial core’. A design was in place but Knegendorf and fellow trustee Lance Van Damme wanted to see what else was out there.
Further goals include a boardwalk through wooded wetland connecting Creamery Park to Mill Pond Park; expanded sidewalks which would connect Mill Pond Park to 6th Avenue; and a parking lot off of Creamery described as “good location for auxiliary downtown parking and potential future train stop parking.”
Even more planning
Windmill Days Committee President Matt Dougherty gave the latest update on plans for the event, held June 3-6.
While a petting zoo is planned for Bailey Park, most of the activities will be in Creamery Park (it was noted committee officials are on board for the idea of a shelter at Creamery Park). Dougherty explained to cut back on expenses, fireworks have been eliminated and a laser light show will be in its place.
“If we don’t have the money, it won’t happen,” he explained.
The Board voted to approve to give the Committee $5,000, the annual amount given to community celebrations in past years with the option of giving more in the future.
• Named Jodi Peterson as Deputy/Utlity Clerk. Carlson said her first day was Thursday, Feb. 20. Peterson replaces Becky Eggen, who is the new City of Hudson Clerk. Peterson previously worked at Greenfield Elementary as an Office Paraprofessional.
• Approval was done for going externally to look for the new Director of Public Works. With John Traxler set to retire July 15, Carlson explained the Village wants his successor hired by May 1. Therefore, with interviews and giving their current employer notice, she said she wanted direction on what the Board wanted. After debate, they agreed 5-1 on posting externally (Van Damme voted no).
• Showed support for Baldwin-Woodville School District’s referendum on April 7.
• Approval was granted to the Baldwin-Woodville Chamber of Commerce for Main Street closures: Chili Fest on Sept. 26 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), Trick or Treat on Oct. 30 (1:30-5:30 p.m.) and the Horse Parade on Dec. 5 (9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.). Approval was also granted to give the Chamber $500 total for Trick or Treat/Horse Parade expenses.
• Approved operator licenses for Alysia Lyon and Sherri Andrea for Freedom Gas Station and Tobie Anderson, Matt Anderson and Lori Pollack for American