Baldwin Township, an exurban township that grew by leaps and bounds during the housing boom and fell just as hard after the market crashed, has been a focus of land use discussions on MPR’s Ground Level blog. Without a growth plan focused on compact development, subdivisions popped out of Baldwin’s corn fields in a scattered manner, and consequently miles of new paved roads were needed to transport residents.
Now that many of these homes have been foreclosed on and the resident tax base has diminished, the township is struggling to drum up the resources to cover the cost of maintaining its sprawling infrastructure. One solution the township is exploring would convert paved roads back to gravel after their 40-year lifespan. Burdened with other financial difficulties that cities and townships across the state are experiencing, Baldwin may have few alternatives for its roads and taxpayers. To read the full blog post, click here.