Colfax reluctant to support Timber Tech proposal

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — Timber Technologies in Colfax is proposing to purchase 1.7 acres from Don Henderson to expand the company’s manufacturing facility but members of the Colfax Village Board are reluctant to say they support the idea.

Dale Schiferl, owner of Timber Tech, recently stopped by the village clerk’s office to talk about expanding his business, reported Jackie Ponto, administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s February 11 meeting.

Schiferl said he did not want to go forward with the project unless the village board indicated they would be willing to support annexing the property in question, she said.

Rick Johnson, village trustee, said the village board could not make any kind of promise about annexing the property from the Town of Colfax.

“They don’t want to spend money on a (Certified Survey Map) unless it is the village’s intention to annex,” Ponto said.

Timber Tech will have to apply for the annexation first before the board can say whether it will be approved, Johnson said.

“Are they looking for support?” asked Mark Halpin, village trustee.

“They don’t want to spend a lot of money on the CSM if it is something the board is not willing to even look at,” Ponto replied.

“I don’t know why the village board would not look at an annexation. The people who own the land have to apply for an annexation. We can’t respond until they apply … but I don’t know any reason under the sun why we would not go ahead,” said Gary Stene, village president.

“If it was a definite ‘no’ they would not proceed with anything,” Ponto said.

“I can’t speak for the board, but I see no reason why we would not encourage that annexation to happen,” Stene said.

Stene also noted that the village would need to research the procedure for amending the Tax Increment Financing district.

According to a letter from Schiferl dated February 8, 2013, “It is Timber Technologies intentions to purchase 1.7 acres of land from Donnie Henderson if an agreement can be made. We wish to attach and extend our current manufacturing facility 72 feet to the South. The purpose of this letter is to start the discussion for annexing this land from the township and into the village for tax purposes.”

The Colfax Village Board did not indicate either by a motion or by consensus whether they might be willing to support Timber Tech’s effort to expand.

The village board also did not indicate whether they might consider annexing the property in question if the proper procedure were followed.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved training requests from Rand Bates, public works director, and Don Logslett, village employee, to attend the Wisconsin Rural Water Association’s Annual Conference March 19 through March 22 in Green Bay.

• Approved a contract for $1,500 with Ayres Associates for underground utility map update requests. Lisa Fleming, an engineer with Ayres, said the $1,500 could be expected to cover map update requests for several years.

• Tabled consideration of whether to increase the pay of village board members. If the village board does agree to increase the pay for village trustees, no one currently serving on the board would benefit from the pay increase, Stene said. The pay increase would go into effect after the next election for each board member position, he said.

• Approved allowing public works employees (streets, sewer and water and police officers) to park inside the Department of Public Works building for the remainder of the winter.

• Approved donating $50 to the Colfax After Prom Party Committee. The 22nd After Prom Party will be held April 27 at Action City in Eau Claire.

• Approved a contract with Baumann Associates for the audit of the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2012, including the presentation to the village board, at a cost of $15,400. The contract includes an additional $4,570 for disclosures related to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) No. 62 and No. 41.