Township elections were held across the state of Minnesota on Tuesday, March 13. In Black Hammer Township, supervisor Kim Sherburne was re-elected in an unopposed contest, 25-0. Incumbent town clerk Tom Andrews was defeated by Elizabeth Wiste, 20-5.

For the fourth year in a row, Black Hammer Township Supervisors voted to keep their levy at $130,000.

When Minnesota Gasoline Tax Distributions, Market Value Credits, interest on checking and other incomes were added, total receipts for 2011 (142,302) exceeded expenditures by $2,848.

The board approved budgeted line items for 2012, which are the same as 2011 and include $15,000 for the general fund, $101,100 for the road and bridge fund, $8,000 for fire, $2,100 for ambulance and $3,800 for solid waste.

Last year, the township also spent $304 on pocket gopher bounties.

In 2011, total expenditures were $139,454.

Treasurer David Skauge gave the report on calendar year 2011 financials, which showed a modest gain in available (cash) assets from last year. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the township was $290,792 in the black, up from $284,056 one year ago.

Income from interest on certificates of deposit is not included as receipts, but interest from the checking account is. In 2011, township CDs earned $3,887.

The township checking account stood at $112,066 on Dec. 31, 2011. That account is at Eitzen State Bank. Two CDs are at Merchants Bank in Caledonia and Onalaska. They were valued at $178,725 as of Dec. 31.

Salaries for supervisors, the township clerk and treasurer were voted on. All will remain the same as in 2011.

Supervisors are paid $50 per meeting. The clerk is paid $50 per meeting plus $1,000 a year. The treasurer is paid $50 per meeting plus $350 annually.

Pocket gopher bounties for 2012 were also approved. They will remain at $2.00 per animal.

Dan Alstad of the Houston County Agriculture Society (fair) asked the board to donate $1,000 to the Houston County Fair Board. The funding was approved.

Stone arch bridge discussed

Once again this year, the stone arch bridge in Rooster Valley was discussed. Supervisors noted that the bridge is in need of repair, but can't be replaced because it is on a national registry of historic structures.

The rehabilitation of the bridge is in the hands of the Minnesota State Historic Society, officers stated, and there is apparently no immediate plan in the works to repair it.

"It's a dangerous bridge," Chairman Jim Solum noted. Residents stated that the local school bus no longer uses the structure.

Solum stated that requests for state action have met with no success. He added that more recent calls to Representative Greg Davids also have not resulted in any change.

Solum said that State Senator Jeremy Miller should be contacted.

An environmental impact statement on the bridge was completed over two years ago, officers said. That document suggested building another bridge alongside the structure, but apparently the site doesn't have enough space for that, Andrews said.

The next Black Hammer annual meeting will be held March 12, 2013. Voting will be from 5-8 p.m. The meeting is at 8:15 p.m.