Dec. 4 , 2006

Woodland Township keeps things moving

By Jenni Sebora

“Good” gravel is a tough commodity to come by, and most townships are dealing with finding gravel sources.

Woodland Township has gotten lucky recently. It found a good source of gravel at a reasonable cost to maintain its 47 miles of township roads that are all gravel, eight-year Woodland Township supervisor Jim Trombley noted. Current chair and 31-year township board member Ken Pawelk agreed.

“Finding gravel is an issue. We were lucky to find a good source and got a good charge or cost on it,” Trombley said.

And this gravel source is a fairly large pit that will meet the gravel needs of Woodland Township for five-plus years, Trombley noted.

“We’re set for quite a few years (regarding gravel supply),” Pawelk added.

The township has also purchased a “new” tandem truck from Watertown Township, which Pawelk noted was in good shape and will be used for hauling gravel.

It has been cheaper for them to do their own gravel hauling, Pawelk added.

Aside from putting gravel on the roads, the township also offers dust control to the township residents at cost, and completes dust control in certain spots on the road as needed, Trombley noted.

To complete all the required road maintenance duties and to better serve the roads, as Trombley put it, Woodland Township has recently hired a second road maintenance employee.

Aside from all of the mentioned road duties as well as other road maintenance tasks, another major job for the maintenance employees is checking the road signs to make sure all of the signs are up, Pawelk explained.

Just as obtaining good and adequate gravel supply is an issue for many townships, so are annexation and land use issues.

To help make the annexation process move more smoothly, Woodland Township has annexation agreements in place with the cities of Montrose and Waverly.

“That’s helped out a lot – a lot less headaches,” Pawelk said of the agreements.

Trombley agreed. “It works out well.”

Five fire districts serve Woodland Township, which include Howard Lake, Waverly, Montrose, Watertown, and Winsted.

A dry hydrant is currently being installed off of Lake Ida, which will provide water protection for the township as well as other areas.

The hydrant was put in by request of the Winsted Fire Department with a lot of input from the Department of Natural Resources, Trombley noted.

Trombley added that the hydrants are especially beneficial for all of the barns in the township in case of fire because the trucks can fill up directly from the lake.

And, of course, one cannot speak of Woodland Township without mentioning its new town hall. Township business has been conducted from the new township hall for over a year now, which has been positive for the township in numerous ways.

“I think more people are interested (in township business) because of the new town hall,” Trombley said.

And taxes were lowered in the township this past year due to the sale of the former township hall.

Township voters overwhelmingly supported the construction of the new hall, and Trombley attributes this positive support to need, liability issues of the former hall, and the process used to determine the needs for the new hall.

A building committee, consisting of township board members and residents, determined the best building plan for the new hall by studying other township halls, looking at various building plans, meeting with local contractors and working together.

The hall is centrally located in the township at Clementa Ave., Montrose.

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