Sunday, March 11, 2018

Exeter Village Board Meets Approves Zoning Items

by Leesa K. Bartu

The Exeter Village board met on Tuesday, March 7 with a standing room only crowd.
The board quickly approved  previous minutes and invoices with board member  Kathy Erdkamp absent.

Speaking to the board first was Exeter resident Charles Trauger representing the Fillmore County Development Corporation.  He thanked the board for their continued support and encouraged them to contact him “with any questions or concerns. . . We will be updating the Exeter community  guide this year.”

Trauger also noted that the FCDC is working on housing issues and Village board chairman Alan Michl confirmed that “housing is our major issue.”

Next on the agenda was Andrew Stark, the owner of Stark Data Network.  He presented the board a bid for fixing some of the video surveillance cameras in town along with updating the network system.

Michl asked what happened to the original company that installed the system, Glenwood, and Stark informed him they no longer do any camera work. The board approved the bid from Stark.

Much of the audience was present for the next item on the agenda.  Fillmore County Zoning Administrator Jennifer Slezak was present and requested the board open two public hearings for conditional use permits. 

Robert Rhodes and Dean and Leesa Bartu had filed applications for accessory buildings of a primary nature within a residential zone in Exeter.  The Fillmore County planning commission had made a recommendation to approve.  Rhodes is planning to construct a 30’ x 40’ garage and the Bartu’s are construction a bus barn.

After no public comment the board closed the public hearing and then voted to approve both of the conditional use permits.

Still working on property issues, the board approved a lot split on property owned by Bob Dumpert, before continuing the discussion on building height requirements.  Currently the village has a limit of 12’at the half peak.

Slezak noted that Fairmont has switched to a 25’ maximum height with a 17’ sidewall maximum and Milligan is considering the same limits.

Board discussed the heights of several different buildings and indicated that they would change to the same specifications.   The changes will be written up as an ordinance for the board to consider at a future meeting.

Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield approached the board with a request, “The school has decided to have an EM wolves give back day.  We would like to have the kids and teachers do something in the community sometime in April.”

Sheffield requested assistance from the village maintenance department to find projects for the students.  He continued, “My first thought was ball fields or getting things ready. We will split up and have a group in Exeter and another in Milligan doing the same thing.  It will be our 7 – 12 grade students.”

The board was very positive about the project.  Board member Mitch Schlegelmilch confirmed, “That sounds awesome.”

The board set the clean up dumpster date for April 21. 

Michl noted the next order of discussion was derelict properties in the community.  He highlighted the property of Rene Salazar which is currently on the market.

The board discussed purchasing the property and cleaning it up themselves but Village Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller advised the board that there was likely asbestos on the property and would be very costly for the village to remove because of government restrictions.  He noted that a property owner could do it themselves if they followed guidelines.

Michl gave his opinion, “We need to tackle a couple.  Not them all, but a couple. “

Board member Justin Harre added, “That’s probably the worst (Salazar property) and it affects the people who live around there.  We can use the keno money to improve the town so we don’t have to talk about this anymore.”

The board did not take any action on the neglected properties but did discuss the process for condemning properties and will pursue that avenue with Police Chief Mark McFarland.

Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller spoke on several agenda items including the option to purchase the well chemical tanks from ACCO.  The board optioned to purchase the tanks for $1250 and also decided to purchase the extended warranty on the VFD (variable frequency drive)at the well for $1079.

The board introduced Ordinance 592 a bond anticipation note for the street and downtown improvement construction project. Michl noted, “This gets the ball rolling. This repeals the last two ordinances we had done and now combines them.”

Clerk Becky Erdkamp added, “They put it for $2.4, I’m hoping we don’t have to get to that point.”

Michl added, “Anything with the water portion we can spread out for 20 years and the streets for 15 years but they are going to try to work it so the payments are the same.  They will be around $165,000 to $175,000 a year and right now we are paying $85,000 but that one will be done in June.  They won’t overlap.”

The board approved the ordinance.

Michl gave the Marshal’s report.  He noted that McFarland has been taking photos of nuisance properties.  He also reported that there have been several incidents of people allegedly walking through yards and looking in garages along with driving through yards.  Nothing has been reported missing and the snow allowed McFarland to track the footprints.

Mueller reported that the well work should be complete by the end of the week and during the last snow storm three stop signs along with the village employee parking sign on main street were mowed over. 

Clerk Erdkamp reported that January Keno was $938.38 and December sales tax was $9325.30.  The next board meeting will be April 3.

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