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Schroeder Township holds annual meeting

Brian Larsen


Roger (Bill) McKeever (left) lost narrowly to Rick Anderson for the supervisor seat, which he held. Bill was gracious in defeat, calling Anderson to the front of the room and praising him for the work Rick has done on the Road and Bridge Committee, which Bill also serves on. Anderson was equally gracious, and asked the Schroeder townsfolk to give Bill an ovation for all of the years of service he has given to the community, which they most heartily did. 
Photo by Brian Larsen Roger (Bill) McKeever (left) lost narrowly to Rick Anderson for the supervisor seat, which he held. Bill was gracious in defeat, calling Anderson to the front of the room and praising him for the work Rick has done on the Road and Bridge Committee, which Bill also serves on. Anderson was equally gracious, and asked the Schroeder townsfolk to give Bill an ovation for all of the years of service he has given to the community, which they most heartily did. Photo by Brian Larsen Pete Borson was nominated as moderator for the annual Schroeder Township meeting, a position he gets nominated to every year. Once again Pete did a great job leading the 40 or so people who attended the meeting through a litany of town business at the March 14 meeting.

West End Cook County Commissioner Ginny Storlie and Cook County/Grand Marais EDA director Mary Somnis addressed the audience. Somnis distributed some literature about the housing project in Lutsen and told about workforce housing that will be built in Grand Marais. Storlie said the county board was already holding budget meetings and would continue to work on the budget throughout the year. She also gave updates about the Gitchi Gami Trail, possible logging on Britton Peak near trails used for hiking and skiing, and mentioned the upcoming informational meeting about property taxes that will be held April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts.

In a razor thin election, Rick Anderson defeated Roger (Bill) McKeever 30 votes to 28 for the three-year supervisor position on the town board previously held by McKeever. Carla Menssen received 37 votes to win the treasurer position.

Alicia Kangas, who wasn’t in attendance, was voted Schroeder Citizen of the Year.

Fire Chief Phil Bonin said his squad has five new volunteers who are all undergoing lengthy (144 hours) training. That brings the crew number to 13. He said there were three calls his squad reported to last year.

Bonin also gave the EMS report. He said there were 42 calls n 2016, with the number split pretty evenly between Tofte and Schroeder. Tofte and Schroeder work together, with Schroeder paying $10,000 to Tofte where all of the equipment is located. Bonin said there were eight EMS members on the squad, one from Schroeder and seven from Tofte.

It was unanimous when it came time to vote to give Tofte Township $1,500 for the annual Fourth of July fireworks.

Bill Christ gave a presentation for We Connect, who requested $11,000 from Schroeder for the community education programs it oversees at the Birch Grove Community Center. Christ said he supported the community education program but believed it could be run without We Connect, a board on which he sits.

Christ made the point that many West End residents were confused about WE Connect’s role, and after an analysis of what We Connect did, he said the school was more than capable of handling the programs. Christ is also a volunteer on a task force that is looking at ways to streamline the operation at the Birch Grove School and community center. “Eighty percent of the people on that task force agree with me on this point,” said Christ.

“I would recommend you give the money to community education, not WE Connect” he said.

No vote was taken on the request, but a motion was passed giving supervisors the decision making on the $11,000 request for funds when more information is learned about what will take place at Birch Grove.

Cory Larson of the Lake County Ambulance came before the township with a request for funds. Larson said Lake County ambulance covers the southern portion of Schroeder, and since 2014 they have averaged 7.5 calls to Schroeder. He asked for $18,000 per year but then said that seemed kind of high. One person pointed out that Schroeder residents were already paying for ambulance service to Cook County, and he should look at going to the county for funds. “We don’t want to pay twice for ambulance service,” the lady said. No vote was taken on giving Lake County money for ambulance service at this time, but supervisors will look into the matter further at a later date.

Clerk Doug Schwecke said the projected 2017 budget is $134,930. He recommended setting the 2018 tax levy on August 9, telling the audience that the board and township would have a better handle on spending projects the township will do in the coming year. Roadwork will be the biggest of these projects, he said. A vote was taken and it was unanimously agreed to come back in August to set the 2018 tax levy.


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