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Colfax decides not to buy more land for East View

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  Based on a recommendation from the Colfax Plan Commission, the Colfax Village Board has decided not to buy any additional land for the East View residential development right now.

The Colfax Plan Commission met in closed session prior to the Colfax Village Board meeting February 26 to discuss purchasing additional property for the East View development and upon coming out of closed session, approved a motion advising the village board “not to go into a land purchase at this time.”

Gary Stene, village president, serves as chair of the plan commission. Other plan commission members include Jason Johnson, Dave Hovre and David Wolff. The fifth plan commission member, Mike Buchner, was absent from the meeting.

The Village of Colfax currently has five lots available in East View along Dunn Street for residential development.

The village is offering the lots for free as long as a house is built and ready for occupancy within one year of signing the agreement.

Colfax resident Richard Johnson, who previously served as a trustee on the Colfax Village Board, asked to address the plan commission during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Johnson noted he had presented a statement to the village board about a month earlier concerning discussions of land purchases in closed session.

Members of the public should have the ability to make comments prior to the village board making a decision about spending money to buy land, Johnson said.

After the Colfax Village Board held a closed session to discuss East View at the January 25 meeting, the village board had recommended the matter be sent to the plan commission for review, he said.

And now the plan commission is going to have more discussion in closed session without a public hearing or comments from the public, Johnson said.

The Colfax Village Board agenda included a closed session item pertaining to East View, but after the plan commission’s recommendation to not buy any more land now, Stene concluded there was no need for a closed session.

The Colfax Village Board voted unanimously to follow the plan commission’s recommendation.

Village Trustees Anne Jenson and Casey Rihn were absent from the meeting.

The Colfax Village Board approved an offer to purchase a little over seven acres for the East View residential development from the James and Mary Schindler Revokable Trust in two separate purchases for a total of $110,100 in November of 2014.

The purchase involved buying 4.21 acres in 2014 at $15,000 per acre for a total of $63,150 and an additional 3.13 acres the following year at $15,000 per acre for a total of $46,950.

Phase 1 contains single family residential lots, and phase 2 includes more single family lots as well as lots for four-plexes.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved training requests for public works employees Rand Bates, Don Logslett and Tim Rundle to attend the Wisconsin Rural Water Association’s 30th Annual Technical Conference in LaCrosse March 26 through March 29.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Caleb Korevaar (Kyle’s Market) from February 26 through June 30.

• Approved a multiple dogs/kennel license for Andrea Sarauer, 411 High Street, from January 1 through December 31.