Last Tuesday, Spring Grove Township held its annual meeting and election as part of the statewide township day on March 12.

Polls were open from 5 to 8 p.m., and five votes were cast with no absentee ballots. Supervisor Richard Gulbranson was unanimously re-elected to a three-year term.

He has served on the board since 2002, when he was appointed to fill the seat vacated by the untimely death of Steve Bulman in a car accident.

Other board members include Mike Patterson, Bruce Johnson and clerk/treasurer Mike Wiste.

The annual meeting commenced at 8:10 p.m., and since no members of the public attended the meeting, Bruce Johnson was named moderator for the evening.

Levy remains the same

The bulk of the meeting was spent reviewing the township's levy and comparing expenses to 2011.

The township saw its overall cash reserves increase from $138,375.74 to $192,210.08. Part of the increase was due to the extremely mild winter that the area observed last season.

The remainder of the cash reserves resulted from a levy increase voted on in 2011 that was payable in the 2012 taxes. "It takes almost two years before we see that money," remarked Gulbranson.

"We tend to pile up money during barer winters," Wiste explained. In 2012, only $9,110 was spent for plowing in contrast to $32,014 in 2011. With the winter experienced thus far in 2013, this year's numbers will easily exceed the $9,000 figure.

With the longer dry (no snow) season last year, more money was spent on crushed rock (gravel) $9,495.10 more, totaling $54,934.25 in 2012.

The township spent $150,729.71 last year compared to $155,446.50 the year before. Revenue in 2012 was $205,896.76 with the bulk of that ($177,414.47) coming from real estate taxes. The town's 2011 income was $173,474.55.

The township received $7,611.95 in state aid, which was down considerably from the year before at $14,433.01. The township receives nothing specific from the county.

Spring Grove Township received its final FEMA-related payment from the 2007 flood repairs amounting to $3,919.52.

No major roadwork was completed in 2011 and none was anticipated for 2012. The township does contract with Steve Johnson for regular maintenance and upkeep of the roadbed, ditches and culverts.

The board voted unanimously to keep this year's levy the same at $177,945. It includes:

General Levy $30,000

Road & Bridges $129,000

Ambulance $2,945

Solid Waste $5,300

Rural Fire $10,700

The gopher bounty was kept at $2 per animal with $720 paid out last year, up from $508 the year before.

Three requests approved

The board approved three funding requests.

The first was for $1,000 to the Houston County Ag Society (Fair) for repairs on some of the buildings on the fairgrounds.

Wiste pointed out that 4-H youth are a large part of the fair. According to a letter from the society, 30 youth from 13 families in Spring Grove Township participated in 4-H last year.

One thousand dollars was also approved for the Houston County Historical Society for its building project and $500 to the Spring Grove Public Library for its general programming.

Next year's meeting

Next year's meeting will be on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at the Spring Grove Town Hall with voting from 5 to 8 p.m. and the annual meeting commencing at 8:10 p.m.