Baldwin city lake to see cleanup
Baldwin's city lake will be seeing some needed improvements during the next few years.
Katie Skinner, a member of the Friends of the Baldwin City Recreation Commission, told the Baldwin City Council Monday the local organization would like to make the lake southeast of town cleaner and more accessible and usable to the community.
"All we'd really like to see is the lake we have get cleaned up," Skinner said.
Friends of the BCRC, she said, wants to coordinate the cleanup with the local Boy Scouts, who have already spent several years on lake cleanup projects, and the Baldwin Rotary Club.
Goals for the upcoming year, she said, include picking up trash, cutting down trees along the dam that are causing erosion and cleaning up the extra brush and weeds along the water's edge.
She said Friends of the BCRC will eventually need the city's help, because clearing the water of brush and weeds will require a backhoe.
Skinner said a trackhoe might need to be rented for a day to clear areas the backhoe can't reach. She wanted to know if the city would be willing to cover the $800 trackhoe rental fee.
"We would like to see that water cleared," she said.
The $800 would be the only cost to the city, she said. Grants are available to help with the lake cleanup. Skinner said the city would need to pay for the improvements prior to the work, but as soon as they were complete, the city would be reimbursed by the grants.
Council Member Ted Brecheisen said he supported the Friends of the BCRC's plans.
"I think it's a good idea," he said.
Council Member Ken Wagner agreed.
"I think it's great to do this and get community involvement," Wagner said. "You have my 100 percent support."
In other business, the city council:
- Approved in a 4-0 vote to deny the vacation of the alley easement between Indiana and Jersey streets extending west from Tauywood Drive to unimproved 11th Street. Council Member Todd Cohen was absent.
Bill Winegar, assistant utility director, said he didn't want to vacate the alley because of the uncertainty of future building and possible upgrades on the sewer.
He also said the electric utility runs down the alley, and if vacated, would remain an easement.
"If a structure goes in there, it can go right up to the easement," Winegar said. "There's no setback like with an alley. It could really cramp us if we have to work there."
Brecheisen said he agreed.
"We should go with the recommendation of the staff," he said. "We need to look at the future and upgrades on the sewer. Maybe at this time we had better not allow it."
- Approved in a 4-0 vote to establish the third Saturday in April as Baldwin City Arbor Day and allow Baldwin to become a member of the National Arbor Day Foundation.