By Pat Maurer
State Representative Joel Johnson reported on State legislation at the Grant Township meeting February 12.
Answering a question about road funding, he said, “A lot of us are pushing for more road funding. Our idea is to get more of that [surplus] money to the counties.” He also reported that House Bill 5215, now in committee, would stipulate that tax income lost because of the disabled veterans’ exemptions would be reimbursed by the State. “I’m expecting that to pass,” he said.
Johnson also reported that the governor’s proposed budget includes a three percent revenue sharing increase for townships and a substantial increase for counties.
Supervisor Dan Dysinger reported to the board that Surrey Road west of Old 27 is eligible for federal aid for resurfacing next summer. He said the township would have about $200,000 in the budget to improve various gravel roads this year.
The board gave him permission to begin the bidding process.
During the County Commission report to the board, District 3 Commissioner Leonard Strouse asked that anyone from the township interested in serving on the County Planning Commission apply by February 24. Kleinhardt, who represents District 4, said he did not know what would happen about establishing a new County Planning Commission. “One of my townships told me they already have a planning commission and we don’t need a county one.”
Kleinhardt also reported that the county board has been asked to co-sign on the $2.5 million loan for the new Health Department/Dental Clinic/Mental Health complex on the south side of Harrison. He said the county board would consider it at the next meeting but they have been told co-signing for that loan could jeopardize other bonding issues. Meantime, he said, progress on the new facility is on hold.
Kleinhardt also warned that the harsh winter conditions could cause problems this spring for the county roads. “You’re going to see potholes like never before, I think. This [road conditions] is getting to be a massive problem. Solving it won’t be easy and it will be costly. I think this will be a bad spring for our roads.”
In another matter, the board approved four salary resolutions for the 2014-15 budget year with 1.5 percent salary increases for the Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer and two Trustees.
The Supervisors salary will be $827.93 monthly with the addition of $250 for maintenance. The Clerk’s salary will be $1,359.88 monthly. The Treasurer’s monthly salary will be $961.05 plus an annual amount of $1.85 per property parcel on the summer tax collection, an amount that is reimbursed by the State. Each of the two trustees on the board will receive $126.67 monthly.
In other business at the township meeting, the board:
*Heard a report from Merle Harmon of Lincoln Sanitation. Harmon requested at $1.5 percent increase to cover increased cost from the landfill. The board approved the increase.
*Appointed Dysinger as the township’s representative on the new LDFA (Local Development Finance Authority) being established by the City of Clare.
*Set dates of March 12 and March 31 at 7 p.m. for Budget Workshops and set April 8th at 7 p.m. for the annual township meeting on the budget.