At the Rushford City Council meeting on November 26, members heard a presentation for a housing development on an existing property located west of town. Bolton & Menk, an engineering planning and consulting firm, had been commissioned by the city to conduct a feasibility study for the approximately 100 acres near Trunk Highway 30 that is currently owned by the Woxland family.
Derek Olinger from Bolton & Menk provided a summary of developing the section of land that is located just outside the city limits, but within the City of Rushford Village. The scope of the study was limited to preliminary concepts for sanitary sewer, water, storm water, grading and street improvements within the development as well as an extension of the municipal utilities to the development site.
As requested by the city, two separate development scenarios were included in the study. The first was for a single-family development using the city’s R-1 zoning requirements and the second for a higher density residential development using the R-3 (multi-family) zoning regulations.
The single-family plan would have 1/4 to 1/3 acre lots, 70 feet wide with varying depths. The house designs would be front-facing with double stall garages. The R-3 multi-family concept includes lots at a minimum 50 feet wide. Garages would be in the rear and alleys would be needed to access the units. A street would be required for both concepts with a sidewalk on one side of the street.
Olinger provided costs for the development of both concepts and included estimated amounts for the construction of the streets, watermain, sanitary sewer and storm sewer within the development. Phase 1 of the single-family development was $1,230,900 for 29 lots at $42,500 per lot. Phase 2 would be $1,425,900 for 44 lots at $32,400 per lot. The estimates for the multi-family dwellings was $2,008,600 for phase 1 for 60 lots at $33,500 each and $2,287,200 for phase 2 for 63 new lots at $36,300 per lot.
Tony Chladek, Rushford City Administrator said, “We’re running out of lots in town and this seems to be the most feasible place to expand. This is a long-range plan. If we move forward, Phase 1 could take 10 years and Phase 2 as much as 20 years. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the good news is that we have options. There would not be a need for a water tower initially and there would be no major ticket items to start developing this area. The question is, when do we want to position ourselves for potential growth?”
Councilor Terri Benson said she agreed that the city needs to prepare for growth, but felt there was also a need to look at the existing homes in Rushford. “We have some homes that need tender loving care and these should be considered in our plans. I feel that we should take care of our current housing as much as trying to expand new development.”
Olinger concluded his presentation with a request for an additional $5,000 to conduct a geotechnical analysis to gather more accurate information about the soil and rock along the corridor of Trunk Highway 30 adjacent to the development area. The motion to proceed with the analysis was approved unanimously.
In other business
• Merchants Bank of Rushford was granted permission to hold the Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights on Saturday December 8 at 7 p.m.
• Council approved the purchase of a new squad car for the Police Department. $44,500 was approved for a 2019 Chevy Tahoe Pursuit 4×4 from Lewiston Auto at a State Bid price with a trade-in allowance for the 2014 Chevy Caprice. The 2015 Tahoe will be kept as the second squad car. $53,000 was in the budget and had been saved for the purchase of the new vehicle.
• The council was asked to update the city’s tobacco ordinance to include new language for electronic and vapor devices. Rushford Public Schools had contacted the city requesting the ordinance be updated so they could enforce it at school. Copies of the new ordinance will be sent to the stores that sell tobacco products: Kwik Trip, The Dollar Store and Pam’s Liquor. A public hearing was set for January 28 at the city council meeting.
The next city council meeting will be held on Monday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 101 N. Mill Street.