Eight Burlington Township facts
Eight important Burlington Township facts:
1. The Burlington Township levy is set by the taxpayers at the annual meeting.
2. The 2009 levy voted on by the taxpayers in 2008 went up 32 percent (to fix Eagle Lake Road). There will be no assessment to the residents along that road. It has been 27 years since anything has really been "fixed" on that road, just always "patched." With some of the big dips and holes forming under Eagle Lake Road, we do not want to have an issue like the death of the little girl in Fargo. That hole was patched and patched but then look what still happened -- it finally got "fixed," but it was too late. Safety is our first issue.
3. Yes, the Burlington Township board hired a professional engineer to oversee the Eagle Lake Road Project. The Minnesota Association of Township Attorneys have stressed over and over that a project such as this, or any "rebuilding" (not patching) of a road, is to have plans done by professional engineers. This is to insure that the road work is done to township road specifications. Safety is our first issue.
4. The township board has 42 miles of roads they are responsible for, and every decision is thoroughly discussed as to how and when each individual road will be maintained and at what cost. A five-year plan is used and updated every year to adjust for actual costs from year to year. As you all know, it is pretty difficult to estimate actual costs given the changing in prices such as what happened with the oil and gas prices last year. The board stayed within its budget and made sure maintaining safety was our main concern. For many years, Burlington Township roads have been just patched and bladed to save money. Many of Burlington Township roads are in need of repairs, and for the last five years, the board has diligently started to fix. It is this townships goal to fix roads instead of just patching. Yes, it will cost a little more at the time, but in the long run, it will be cheaper to actually fix safety issues instead of just getting by with a patching because it is cheaper. Safety is our first issue.
5. Burlington Township does not have any outstanding debt or indebtedness. This is very rare for a government entity. We use the funds dictated by the taxpayers each year when they vote on the levy at the annual meeting.
6. Official township information is in the minutes and is always open to the public for viewing once it has been made official. No board, I am aware of, releases unofficial information to the public. It is unofficial and things could be misconstrued as fact when it is, by law, not fact until it is approved by the board as stated. The Eagle Lake Road issue is in the fact-finding stages. Until all the facts, such as engineering, materials, and construction bid/costs are evaluated, nothing is official. Financial and project planning is the boards' responsibility, and approval is the responsibility of the taxpayers at the annual meeting.
7. The Burlington Township board has been working diligently to come up with a budget levy proposal for 2010 to bring to the taxpayers at our annual meeting on March 10. As promised to the taxpayers at last year's annual meeting, the levy is slated to come down 33 percent depending on what the taxpayers decide.
8. We have a very hard working board in place right now. Everyone gets along and works well together. Not one person on the board has a hidden agenda or wants something done for themselves. Everyone on the board is there because they want to make a difference. It certainly is not for the pay. Just like our dedicated local firefighters, you want to help. Also, don't forget the board members are also Burlington Township taxpayers. Why would any of us board members want to pay more taxes or waste our tax dollars? We would be hurting ourselves.
So please, I am encouraging all of you to come vote on March 10, and attend the annual meeting immediately afterward to keep Burlington Township moving forward with the progress it has been striving to achieve the last five years and to continue into the future.