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Request to bow hunt in village limits forwarded to attorney

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — A request to bow hunt on land located within the Colfax village limits has been forwarded to the village’s attorney for review.

Lee Foyt, a resident on High Street in Colfax, appeared before the Colfax Village Board at the September 10 meeting to discuss his request to bow hunt.

Foyt owns about 11 acres situated behind five or six neighboring properties on High Street. The edge of Foyt’s land extends to the village limits.

According to a letter Foyt wrote dated September 5, “What I’m asking you to consider is allowing us [Foyt and his son] to bow hunt only on our back property. There would be no gun hunting. I have had conversations with my neighbors and have found no one who is against the idea.”

Rand Bates, director of public works, asked if Foyt was planning to use hunting blinds or tree stands and said he had no problem with either as long as the village is not held responsible if something is stolen.

Following a motion that was made and seconded to approve Foyt’s request, Village Trustee Chris Olson pointed out that the village’s ordinance prohibits discharging a weapon within the village limits and suggested forwarding the request to the village’s attorney for review.
Chris Olson noted there are four or five other areas within the village limits where people could hunt for deer and said he was concerned that approval could be setting a precedent for other areas.

Village Trustee Richard Johnson also wondered whether state statutes allow hunting within village or city limits.

Village President Gary Stene asked whether the village board’s intent for sending the matter to the attorney for review would include finding a way to approve hunting within the village limits, either by writing a different ordinance or amending the current ordinance.
The motion and the second to approve Foyt’s request was withdrawn, and the Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion asking the attorney to review the request and to make a recommendation to the village board.

Several board members pointed out that the City of Menomonie allows bow hunting within the city limits.

The Village of Elk Mound also allows bow hunting for deer and turkeys within the village limits and requires hunters to apply for a permit.

Bow hunting season for Whitetail deer began September 15.

Foyt told the village board that he would not be able to bow hunt on opening day this year and that he also would be willing to make the request every year if the village board preferred not to give blanket approval for subsequent years.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Ashley Larson from September 10, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

• Learned that village resident Ron Peterson is working on receiving state approval to put up three Colfax signs that were donated by the Tornado Commemoration Committee, private contributions and contributions from the Colfax Kiwanis. Two of the signs are expected to be installed on state Highway 40 and one would be put up near the lift station on state Highway 170. The signs have been finished and ready to install for about two years.

• Learned that the Colfax Village Board needs to establish a building permit fee for the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s building project. The building permit is expected to be on the agenda for the next village board meeting.

• Received a request from Jackie Ponto, village administrator clerk-treasurer, to go back to paying the bills two times per month instead of once a month. Kathy Morse, who served as the interim clerk-treasurer for more than a year and a half, had asked the village board to approve paying the bills once a month. Ponto said the village was paying some late fees because she needed to delay paying certain invoices on the once-per-month schedule.

The Colfax Village Board meets next on September 24.