Village council discusses cleanup efforts
BALDWIN — Two weeks after a tornado hit the village of Baldwin, residents, businesses and organizations are still cleaning up. During the village of Baldwin council on Monday, President Jim Truxton discussed cleanup efforts.
"The cost of cleanup so far is about $15,000. The cost is not insurmountable. There are enough local resources to clean up, so we don't qualify for national relief. A portion, if not all expenses, can be covered by street funds. Lake County Road Commission is using their equipment to haul off brush," he said, adding village residents are allowed to drag brush to the street for road commission to pick up. "There is a huge mountain of brush at the designated site off Astor Road. I will leave it open as long as no one starts dumping trash there."
Truxton said there still are massive stumps in people's yards which the village's loader cannot handle.
Truxton said the Baldwin Fire Department was used for a designated shelter after the shelters at the school and Webber Township Hall shut down.
"I salute people in the room, such as fire chief Jeremy Anderson, Cassidy Holstrust and Pam Anderson for helping at the shelter and picking up groceries and other supplies — making sure things ran smoothly," Truxton said. "I am extremely impressed with Salvation Army from Big Rapids providing food for linemen, cleanup crews and community members. The Red Cross also did a great work. Christian Aid Services provided a team of 50 to 60 Amish and Mennonite workers, bringing their own equipment and fuel to run the equipment.
"I am amazed at the progress we made since the storm — with power companies coming from Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio to restore power. I can't say enough for the road commission. They are still cleaning up. The whole thing was miraculous, with only one person injured. Two trees cracked a trailer home open like an egg, but thankfully no one was hurt. There were people camping and a tree came down right near their tent. The property damage is amazingly light considering how bad it could have been."
During the fire report, Anderson said he appreciated all the help with the shelter.
"Everything went very well," he said. "The Red Cross wants to look into making the fire hall a designated shelter."
Trustee Clarence Viscent said many people are pitching in to help in cleanup efforts.
"Father Ron Schneider of St. Ann's Church had volunteers from Aquinas College helping to clean up," he said.
Also during the meeting, the Baldwin Rotary Club expressed interest in planting maple trees at the Trailhead Park to help replace damaged trees. They were directed to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources because the park is state-owned.