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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved transferring the title to Lot 5 in the East View residential development to Homes by Croix Creek for a model house.
John Fraley of Homes by Croix Creek met with the Colfax Plan Commission in September to talk about the project, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s November 9 meeting.
Fraley’s plan is to build five houses in East View all together, she said.
According to the Colfax developer’s agreement for the East View development, lots in East View are free as long as construction is completed within one year.
Fraley is requesting five years for the fives lots, Niggemann said.
If the title to Lot 5 is transferred, then Fraley plans to begin construction yet this fall on the model home, she said, noting that an addendum would have to be added to the developer’s agreement for the additional lots.
Fraley is expecting to have all of the houses built within three years but is asking for five years to be on the safe side, Niggemann said.
As he progresses with building the houses, then the titles would transfer at that point, she said.
The village’s only obligation is to get sewer and water to the lots, said Rand Bates, director of public works.
If Fraley backs out of the plan at any point, he would only have the title for the current lot, Niggemann said.
Fraley works with a United States Department of Agriculture program, Niggemann said.
At the September plan commission meeting, Fraley told commission members the houses qualify for a financing program through the United States Department of Agriculture that helps young families.
The purpose of the model home is to give people an example they can walk through. Marketing the homes is easier if there is a lot to show with a house rather than asking people to imagine what the house would look like on an empty lot, he said.
The first house is supposed to be a model home, although Niggemann told the village board she had heard that the first house may already be sold.
The USDA program requires zero down on the low-interest loan, so it is very attractive to young people who want to buy their first home, Niggemann said.
Fraley said he really likes Colfax, has donated money to the fund to build an elevator in the municipal building and has been trying out restaurants in town, she said.
Fraley’s plans are the model home, then starter homes on the other lots, and after the five lots are filled, he has an interest in building multi-family units on the south side of East View along Dunn Street, said Scott Gunnufson, village president.
Fraley hires local contractors when possible, he added.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to transfer the title to Lot 5 to John Fraley of Homes by Croix Creek.
The village board also approved the agreement to give Homes by Croix Creek five years to build five houses in East View.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a domesticated chicken license from November 9, 2020, to June 30, 2021, for JoAnn Mayfield at 204 Viking Drive.
• Rescinded a motion from a previous meeting to build one concrete pad at the Colfax solid waste and recycling site and approved a motion to build two concrete pads to accommodate an extra compactor for recyclables.
• Approved the equipment purchase for the Colfax solid waste and recycling site for a total of $39,654, which will be divided equally among the six municipalities on the Colfax side of the Responsible Unit (Village of Colfax and the Towns of Colfax, Grant, Otter Creek, Tainter and Wilson) for a total of $6,609 for each municipality.