Jerusalem Township officials broke ground last year on a long planned sports complex.
The site, behind Jerusalem Elementary School on Yondota Road, will feature two baseball diamonds and two soccer fields, said trustee Joe Kiss. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
The township has its own recreation department, which is funded by a recreation levy. Trustee David Bench said Jerusalem Elementary School, which had drainage problems, will benefit from the project.
“We tiled the parks so we can get the ball diamonds in the back of Jerusalem School,” Bench said. “We also tiled the school property, per se, so the playground wasn’t all lake.”
The township is subcontracting the project to save money.
“We hired a local guy that’s doing the underground plumbing,” Kiss said. “We’re trying to handle everything ourselves and be the general contractor to save money and use as many people within the township as we can.”
Trustees say 2010 was a productive year.
“We’ve gotten the contract bid and saved tons of money on the garbage,” Kiss said. “We’ve gotten tons of stuff done at the cemetery — trees, a flagpole. We’ve gotten a new complete parking lot put in at the township and a restriped, helicopter landing pad. The recycling station has been moved to a more efficient location.”
The township signed a new three-year garbage contract and successfully held an unlimited brush pickup and two unlimited garbage pickups. The new refuse collection contract with Fondessey Exterprises Inc. is expected to save the township $40,000 per year over the previous contract.
The maintenance department surfaced 12,650 feet of roadway plus did extensive mill and fill work on at least six roads, upgraded 210 signs, changed 170 post and bases and changed 130 road name signs to comply with new regulations.
Seven trees were planted at the cemetery for Arbor Day and a new 35-foot aluminum flagpole was erected for Memorial Day, which Kiss says received “awesome” feedback from the community.
Bench added, “Everyone gets along and we have a good time and we are getting things accomplished. We got the roads paved and there is always something going on it seems like. We did a tire recycling and we got over 1,000 tires that we cleaned up out of the township. That was really good that day. We were really happy.”
Kiss explained, “We had a great tire recycling day where the township picked up half the tire recycling. If you had one or 100 tires in your backyard, the township would pay half for you to bring them up and you paid half.
“It’s just been one productive two years,” Kiss continued. “These two new trustees and I have made a commitment to work together versus work against each other and that has just been a wonderful experience for me. My point is these two new trustees and I this past year were committed to doing constructive, productive things for the township and it clearly shows what we got done.”
The township also donated equipment and manpower to the June 5 tornado victims. Over the holidays, volunteers put on one of the biggest community Christmas parties the township had seen in years.
“The party was put together by donations from all over the area by businesses and residents,” Kiss said. “The township simply donated the hall and grounds. Again, we didn’t know what to expect. We really weren’t ready for what happened next. Amazingly, (there were) nearly 200 moms and dads and boys and girls and a great time was had by all.
“Hats off to the people that organized the event — Maggi Dandar, Julie Van Nest, Sandy Nissen, Linda Chapman, and several other ladies. She’s (Dandar) our super volunteer right now. She was just instrumental in helping that party get done,” Kiss added.
The township’s budgeted revenues for 2011 is $2,017,976.62 with appropriations budgeted at $1,388,625. Proposed projects include the purchase of a new fire truck, continued progress on the rec facility, new entrances and signs at the cemetery, continued road improvements, aesthetic improvements to the township building, and long term planning at John Kennedy Park.