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Colfax approves offer to purchase 7 acres for $110,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved an offer to purchase a little over seven acres from the James and Mary Schindler Revokable Trust in two separate purchases for a total of $110,100.

The village board approved the offer to purchase following a closed session on November 13.

The purchase will involve buying 4.21 acres this year at $15,000 per acre for a total of $63,150.

In 2015, the village plans to purchase 3.13 acres at $15,000 per acre for a total of $46,950.

The land is expected to be used for a housing development along Dunn Street. The Colfax Village Board will not be acting as the developer, but rather, will offer the lots for sale to developers or to individuals who want to build houses.

The purchase includes the right-of-way on which Dunn Street is currently located.

The land purchase will not be completed until the Schindlers’ attorney has reviewed the Certified Survey Maps and the offer to purchase.

According to an e-mail dated November 14 from Patrick Beilfuss of Cedar Corporation to Ken Schofield, the village’s attorney, “the Schindlers would like a final review of all documents by their attorney before they sign them.”

The residential development concept developed by Cedar Corporation for the entire development includes 85 single-family homes, 16 four-plex units (four buildings with four apartments) and 16 twin-homes (eight twin homes with two houses in each unit).

The first six residential lots along the east side of Dunn Street will be 90 feet wide by 160 feet deep — or between 14,000 and 15,000 square feet.

An acre contains 43,560 square feet, so the first lots will be about one-third of an acre in size.

The second purchase of property of 3.13 acres will include three more single-family lots and two larger lots.

The residential concept includes a pond in the field by the railroad tracks across Dunn Street from Ackerman Dairy, green space, and a bike trail around the east perimeter of the residential development running east from Dunn Street  to the railroad tracks and then south to South Boundary Line Road.

The money to purchase the lots will come from available cash in the village’s general fund and will not be added to the village tax levy, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.

The village board has not yet determined the sale price of the residential lots.

Residential development and population growth in Colfax have been slow over the past several decades because few residential lots were available.

One of the recommendations in the proposed update to the economic development chapter of the Smart Growth Comprehensive Land Use Plan is that the village consider purchasing and developing land for residential, business and industrial purposes.

The 2014 purchase includes Lot 1, which is 2.10 acres; Lot 2, which is .33 acres; Lot 3, which is .37 acres; and 1.41 acres of land dedicated to the public for Dunn Street.

Although Dunn Street has been a public street since the early 1900s, part of the street was actually located on the Schindlers’ land.

In addition to approving the offer to purchase, the Colfax Village Board approved a resolution dedicating the north/south public right-of-way as Dunn Street and the east/west public right-of-way as Fourth Avenue.

Other business

In other business at the November 13 meeting, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a bow hunting permit for Jeff Prince of 1004 University Avenue.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Sean Nielson of 515 East Third Avenue.

• Failed to approve a contract with the Dunn County Humane Society for 2015 and 2016 in the amount of $1,713.04 ($1.52 per capita) for 2015 and $1837.01 ($1.63 per capita) for 2016.

• Approved a contract with Weber Inspections, Fred Weber, as the village’s building inspector for 2015. Each building permit next year will cost $25. According to a letter from Weber dated October 1, the increased cost of the building permit is the first increase for Weber Inspections in nine years. The property owner pays the permit fee, and there are no additional costs for the village.

• Approved an audit contract with Bauman Associates for the 2014 audit at a total cost of $22,950.