By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Two businesses in Colfax — Timber Technologies and Anderson Bridges — will soon be expanding.
The Colfax Village Board at the June 10 meeting approved a contract with Cedar Corporation to review the site plans for the two businesses at a cost not to exceed $500 for each site plan.
Patrick Beilfuss, a senior planner with Cedar Corporation, reviewed the village’s building permit ordinance and zoning permit ordinance with the village board.
According to the village’s ordinances, structures being built within the village need a site plan approval process, Beilfuss said.
Colfax’s ordinances call for an approval of the site plans under the section dealing with building permits, although the specific items needed for a site plan are included under the section dealing with zoning permits, he said.
Some of the elements included in a site plan review would include the type of structure; existing and proposed use; number of employees; zoning district; a plat of the survey; site boundaries; existing and proposed easements; streets; utilities; off-street parking; loading areas; highway access restrictions; floodplain boundaries (if applicable); proposed water supply plan if municipal service not available; and any additional information required by the village board, the zoning administrator, or the building inspector.
A site plan review also would include checking to make sure the plans are not violating any of the village’s ordinances, Beilfuss said.
Cedar Corporation would review the site plan with the village’s administrator, Jackie Ponto, and then the site plan would go to the village’s plan commission for review, he said.
The plan commission would make suggestions for changes or make a recommendation to approve, and then the plan would go to the village board for a final review, Beilfuss said.
The site plan should also be reviewed against the village’s Smart Growth comprehensive plan to make sure the development is following the village’s plans for development, he said.
Colfax has no one on staff to review site plans, said Richard Johnson, village trustee.
“I think we need someone … we should follow our ordinances,” he said, noting that recent building projects in Colfax have not gone through a site review process but should have been reviewed.
Reviewing the site plans for expansions at Timber Technologies and Anderson Bridges would take Cedar Corporation one to two weeks to complete, Beilfuss said.
Since Timber Tech and Anderson Bridges are straightforward expansions of existing businesses, they would be “good practice” for the village’s recently-formed plan commission, he said.
Mark Halpin, village trustee, chaired the meeting in the absence of Village President Scott Gunnufson.
Halpin said he, too, thought it would be a good idea for the plan commission to review the site plans for the two businesses.
“Isn’t that why we formed a plan commission?” he asked.
Scott Rasmussen, director of business development at Durand Builders, attended the meeting because the village board was considering approval of the certified survey map (CSM) for Timber Technologies.
Durand Builders will be constructing Timber Tech’s expansion.
“It works really well to work with a plan commission,” Rasmussen said.
“I really support this process because it really does work,” he said.
Rasmussen noted that a project can lose 30 to 45 days on getting started if the village board is the only governmental body reviewing a site plan.
“We can work out problems more quickly through a plan commission,” Rasmussen said.
The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to contract with Cedar to act as the consultant to review the site plans for Timber Technologies and Anderson Bridges at $500 for each plan.
Village Trustee Mike Buchner voted against the motion.
Village trustees Halpin, Johnson, Beverly Schauer and Susan Olson voted in favor of the motion.
Village trustee Annie Schieber also was absent from the meeting.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Accepted a donation of $1,000 from the family of Glen “Pete” Johnson for a new flag pole at the Colfax Rescue Squad building on Railroad Avenue.
• Approved the purchase of a new flag pole for the Colfax Rescue Squad building from Freedom Flag and Pole out of Eau Claire in the amount of $449 and the purchase of a ground light set from Freedom Flag and Pole in the amount of $146.65. The new flag pole also will include a memorial to Pete Johnson.
• Approved the certified survey map for the annexed section for the Timber Technology’s expansion. Timber Tech will close on purchasing the additional property (125 feet by 564 feet) on June 13, Rasmussen said, noting that Durand Builders hopes to begin construction at the end of June or early July.
• Approved purchasing new lighting for the Department of Public Works building on Railroad Avenue in the amount of $985. The existing lights provide extremely poor illumination, said Rand Bates, director of public works. Once the new lights are installed, there will be the same number as there is now, but the new lights will provide twice as much illumination, he said, noting that village personnel will be able to install the lights.
• Approved placing on the next agenda a resolution setting new building permit fees for the village.
The Colfax Village Board meets next on June 24.