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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved subdividing 211 Main Street to allow the adjoining landowner to purchase a portion of the lot.
Ron Swartz, 207 Main Street, told the village board at the May 28 meeting he wanted more space to be able to park his camper.
The owner of the lot at 211 Main Street, Jerry Kerg, is willing to sell 20 to 25 feet, and subdividing the lot would be within the parameters of the village’s ordinances, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
The village board talked about granting a variance last year, she noted.
The lot must be surveyed, and Swartz can hire a surveyor of his choosing, Niggemann said.
Several village board members said they wanted to make it clear the landowner would be paying for the survey and not the village.
At what point would the plan commission become involved? asked Scott Gunnufson, village president.
If the proposal were to build additional homes on subdivided lots, then the issue would go before the plan commission, but subdividing a lot to sell a portion of the land to an adjoining land owner goes before the village board, Niggemann said.
Gunnufson reiterated there would be no cost to the village for the survey or the title work.
“I want to be clear with the public,” he said.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to allow the division of the lot at 211 Main Street and to give the authority to the administrator-clerk-treasurer to approve the certified survey map without the CSM coming back to the village board for approval.
In addition to Gunnufson, village trustees Anne Jenson, Margaret Burcham, Keith Burcham and Chad Berge also voted in favor of the motion.
Village trustees Carey Davis and Mark Halpin were absent from the meeting.
According to the village’s ordinance, Section 13-1-27 pertaining to an existing single family mixed residential district, the R-3 District is intended to provide for single-family and two-family dwellings within the “built up area of Colfax.”
To be considered a conforming lot or structure within an R-3 District, a lot or a structure must have a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet per family and a minimum lot width of 50 feet; have a front yard setback of 15 feet, a rear yard setback of 30 feet, and a side yard setback of six feet; have a minimum living area of 900 square feet in the principal building; not exceed a maximum principal building height of 35 feet; have an accessory building side yard setback of three feet, rear yard setback of three feet, and a minimum accessory building height not to exceed 15 feet.
Conditional uses within an R-3 District include two-family dwellings; bed and breakfast services; residential storage buildings not involving the conduct of a business; churches, municipal buildings, public and parochial schools; public parks and playgrounds; daycare centers; owner-only operated windshield repair service; and the selling of antiques, high-end collectibles and consignment items.
Gunnufson took a moment at the beginning of the meeting to introduce the Village of Colfax’s new public works employee, Mitch Kreutzer.
Kreutzer, age 37, said he is from Menomonie and has been working in excavating and farming his whole life and believes a public works job will be a good fit with his background.
Although Kreutzer said he “loves working in the dirt,” farming is not exactly a financially secure undertaking, especially this year when it is difficult to plant farm fields because of all the rain, he said.
“I’m excited to be here … I hope to bring a lot to the Village of Colfax,” Kreutzer said.
Ryan Bauer, who was previously employed in the public works department, submitted his two-week notice several weeks ago and has taken another job.
Well No. 1
The Colfax Village Board approved the low bid from CTW Corporation out of Augusta at the May 28 meeting in the amount of $16,380 to replace the components in Well No. 1, including the pump and motor.
The state Department of Natural Resources has indicated the village must replace the components in all three of the village’s wells, said Rand Bates, director of public works.
The components in Well No. 2 were replaced two years ago after the well was struck by lightning, he noted.
The price of $16,380 includes $1,100 for televising the well.
Berge asked if the work on Well No. 1 is included in this year’s budget.
The work on Well No. 1 will come from the water utility budget and not the general budget, Niggemann said.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a transient merchant license for Madison Fechter, who will be selling the Southwestern Advantage educational learning system from May through August.
• Approved a pay request in the amount of $110,238.95 for the Roosevelt Street project to Haas Sons, Inc. The entire contract price for the street project is $252,781.07. Gareth Shambeau, a civil engineer with Ayres Associates, noted that the design for the Roosevelt Street project was an especially efficient process, so the village will not be billed for about 10 percent of the original design cost, meaning that the village will be saving between $2,500 and $3,000.
• Approved selling some of the village’s old cellular phones if anyone in the village is interested and donating the remainder to the Colfax Firefighters’ Association for the Firefighters’ Ball auction in September. According to information Niggemann provided to the village board, Colfax has 13 flip phones, four iPhones, three Motorola phones, two Kyocera phones and four jet packs (a kind of mobile hotspot). The phones would still work for calling 911 if they are charged up, noted Village Trustee Jenson. Niggemann had suggested selling the surplus phones on Craigslist or eBay, but Gunnufson pointed out the amount of time that Niggemann or Sheila Riemer, deputy clerk, would spend trying to sell the phones that way would not be worth whatever they could get for them since AT&T has said only one of the more than 20 phones would have a trade-in value of $20.
• Approved repealing and replacing Section 7-1-3 of the village’s ordinances to include cats in the issuance of kennel licenses. After a discussion about allowing tags to be transferred from one dog or cat to another in the kennel, village board members agreed they did not want the tags to be transferrable and that each dog or cat should have its own unique tag. The sentence, “These tags may be transferred from one dog or cat to another within the kennel whenever any dog or cat is removed the kennel” was removed from the draft of the ordinance. Ordinance 2019-04 will go into effect after it is published in the village’s official newspaper, the Colfax Messenger.
• Approved repealing and replacing Section 7-1-19 of the village’s ordinances pertaining to the limit on the number of dog and cats to allow any combination of animals to reach a total of six. Ordinance 2019-05 will go into effect after it is published in the Colfax Messenger.
• Approved the new application form for a multiple dogs and/or cats kennel license. A kennel license allows up to 12 animals with an annual kennel license fee of $36.50. A fee of $4 will be charged for additional animals totaling more than 12. Several village board members expressed concern about a residence having more than 12 dogs or cats, but Niggemann pointed out that the applications for a kennel license come before the village board to consider whether to approve or deny the application.
• Learned that the request for a special assessment regarding the sewer lateral project at 501 High Street has been withdrawn.