Busy time continues for Linwood FD

New equipment in service; firefighter welcomed home from military duty


Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

Fire Chief Darryl Ballman reviewed fire department news at the Linwood Town Board meeting last Tuesday, April 9.

Firefighter Derek Dovolos has returned from military duty in Afghanistan after a year’s deployment. Two members of the department escorted him home to Linwood.

Anoka County Training Academy is providing training for new firefighters. Ballman reported that the ACTA candidates are doing well, preparing to take Fire Fighter I certification test. Three department captains are completing yearly reviews with fire crews.

The new Lucas device has been placed in service as part of the emergency equipment. Final cost for it and the Zoll monitor was less than $6,000, according to Ballman. The new emergency weather siren has been installed near the intersection of Japura and 234th Avenue.

Ballman requested the purchase of new chairs for the training room to replace those falling apart. Approval is needed for the $500 for purchase.

The department is getting bids to re-surface the station floor.

The department is working with Oxford Township and other local departments to reach a mutual aid agreement for optimal fire protection. The Linwood Fire Department should take delivery on the new fire truck in late June.

HR Committee

Attorney Mike Haag reported the township Human Resources Committee met for an initial two-hour session. Haag was appointed chair. Monthly meetings are planned with establishment of review process for all staff, elected officials, and committee chairs.

Mike Halliday spoke in support of this system as a more concrete method of wage increases based on merit and longevity. Job descriptions are to be updated with this review process in mind.

On the recommendation of auditor David Mol, action was taken establishing “official township policy” regarding documentation for reimbursement from petty cash. Printed receipts are required for reimbursement. Exceptions may be allowed if a supervisor gives authorization for the reimbursement. The board also took action in requiring all staff to use the time clock all the time. Action on both items was approved by a 5-0 vote.

Recording of

Haag also addressed a request about video recording town board meetings for viewing on Channel 10 and/or viewing on the township website, possibly resulting in residents becoming more involved in the township. There have been other requests in the past for this service. Haag observed “most places do it already.”

At the meeting, there was the request for both, because many do not have cable service.

Supervisor Phil Osterhus favors computer accessibility by fiber optics. Rudi McCurdy, township employee, said it could be put on the township website. More research will be done and the discussion continued at future meetings.

Other Business

Haag reported that the township has permission to clean up the Thomas Harris home site after the house burned. Costs will be charged against the estate.

Finally, township supervisors authorized vacation of the easement in Boettcher Farms development. A property owner is combining two lots to build on the high ground where they join, exactly on the 5 feet of easement. The board unanimously accepted vacation of the easement.

Included in the Linwood Road and Bridge report for April 2 was a reminder that funds carried forward from 2012 and used to complete 2013 road projects. The committee recommends that the Class 5 gravel ordered in 2012 be used for 239th Avenue and Typo Creek Drive (north of Fawn Lake Drive). Bids for the 2013 street projects are to be opened April 26.

A building project for the Linwood School and Community Forest includes a gazebo near the park.  Supervisor Bob Millerbernd told the board that the building will begin when the ground thaws. He plans to be heavily involved in the volunteer labor force to construct the structure. He is also seeking other volunteers. Millerbernd also hopes the project will be supported by some materials and supply contributions. For more information, volunteers can contact Millerbernd at 651-408-8678.

Supervisors unanimously approved the purchase of a replacement compressor.

The Board of Appeals and Equalization is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at the Town Hall.  This is immediately before the Linwood Town Board meeting.

The 2013 park review was scheduled for Monday, April 15.