Baldwin road project questioned

The Baldwin Town Board has a long history of disregarding committee recommendations. Recommendations die a slow death for lack of funding. Previously conservatism ruled but the tide has changed.

Two years ago taxpayers added $100,000 to the levy to preserve their roads. The first year many roads received long overdue maintenance. Then the board formed a committee to evaluate all the town roads. 100th Street was identified as the worst, plus Elk Lake residents have been long asking to address the flooding of their gravel roads. 112th Street that passes along the town board chairman’s home needed no work. The committee priorities were consistent with the five-year plan to repair 100th Street first. The entire board except Chairman Swanson voted against 112th Street.

However, the chairman wanted a new road in front of his home and an election near. Some months later, Jay Swanson made the motion and VOTED to spend $407,000 on one mile of his road. Two board members are up for election, Tom Rush and Randy Atwood. The project was approved by a 3-2 vote and the two candidates that could benefit from the support of the chairman also voted yes. Why spend taxpayers’ money on plans and recommendations if politics drive the decisions? Politics is a way of life in wasting taxpayers’ money but this is also a gross conflict of interest.

A triple whammy for Baldwin taxpayers — $100,000 per year approved to preserve town roads has been redirected by a chairman who wants a new wider road in front of his home and two town supervisors who wish to get re-elected. To assure the project does not get delayed, the contracts will be awarded in February, just prior to the election. Is it possible that the contracts will have a penalty clause if cancelled after the election?

They would defend their votes by making 112th Street safer to avoid another tragic accident. Ask Rush and Atwood if the safety improvements will actually be in Baldwin or the Livonia side of the project? —Chuck Nagle, Baldwin