Tofte gets increase in 1 percent funding for improvements at Birch Grove

After receiving new cost estimates that were about $300,000 
more than expected, the Tofte Town Board looked at things to cut from 
the long hoped-for improvements at the Birch Grove Community Center on
May 10. The county had granted $700,000 from the 1% infrastructure and 
recreation sales tax.
The town board talked about things such as eliminating a covered 
picnic pavilion, building the warming house on a floating slab instead 
of on foundation walls with footings, not installing in-floor heat and 
Commissioner Bruce Martinson suggested that the town ask the county 
board for an increase of $250,000.
And Tofte did, at the county board meeting on Tuesday, May 15, Tofte 
Supervisor D.C. Olsen addressed some of the cuts the Tofte board had 
discussed, saying they did not like the thought of having no roof over 
the picnic area. He also said the township has wanted to make 
improvements that were as maintenance-free as possible, “What we save 
now we’ll pay for later,” he said.
Olsen and Tom Wacholz of ORB Management asked the county board for an 
extra $250,000, but Commissioner Sue Hakes said she thought they 
should keep 100 AMP service and fiberglass dasher boards in the 
design.  She made a motion, seconded by Bruce Martinson, to grant an 
extra $270,000 for the project.  It passed unanimously, with 
Commissioner Jim Johnson absent.
The next Tofte town meeting is Thursday, June 14 at the Tofte Town Hall.