A quick Rushford Village Council meeting February 16 saw just three items of discussion, in addition to Planning & Zoning. During the Roads, Water, and Sewer portion of the agenda, it was suggested by Equipment Committee member Mike Ebner that the city consider another purchase for Public Works/Maintenance.
Last month, the council approved the purchase of a new, large truck for the department. With a year-long wait and a hefty price tag, plus additional truck equipment, the council was cognisant of the costs to taxpayers, despite having funds set aside to cover equipment needs. At the time, the condition of the current drop-in sander unit was discussed, but no formal decision was made. A follow-up discussion with manufacturer Syverson Truck Center and equipment provider Universal Truck Equipment resulted in a quote for a new, drop-in sander for the 450 truck.
Universal has two, stainless steel, all-electric units on hand, at a cost of $5,800, plus $300 for taxes. The entire purchase is not to exceed $6,500. The quote comes with a labor cost to install the sander. Unless doing so voids the warranty, part-time Public Works/Maintenance Supervisor Trenten Chiglo suggested department staff could install it and save the cost. The funds to purchase the sander are available within the department budget.
The department is also budgeting for the purchase of a new snow plow. The current plow has bad bushings and normal wear and tear and will need to be replaced for next year. There was some discussion of whether or not the city could qualify for additional funding assistance for department purchases. Clerk Mary Miner noted that a new funding opportunity may be coming and it appears less restrictive than previous municipal assistance.
Community Economic Development Associates representative Rebecca Charles was also present at the meeting to discuss her annual report and the city’s Comprehensive Plan.” The most important part is the start of the economic development goals for 2021,” said Charles.
Other than the Comprehensive Plan, Charles is planning on assisting the city with several other items this year. They include website development, including updating available property listings and adding a section with business resources, Safe Routes to School Grant Programs for planning related to snowmobile and four-wheeler trails, Community Marketing through the website, goals, and potential packages for new residents and businesses, as well as businesses looking to relocate, and lastly the city’s Employee Manual.
“We need a work plan for 2021,” added Charles. “It can change throughout the year if things come up, but that’s what I’ll be working on throughout the year.”
Another citizen complaint regarding speeding in south Rushford has been brought forth by the council. Signs related to the need for slower speeds are located on Main, Whitemore, and Sherwood Streets, as well as Goodrich, Hayes, and Plummer Streets. “In order to get to that area, you have to pass a sign,” noted Mayor Dennis Overland.
The city will send a letter to the complainant thanking them for bringing forth the concern. The city will take the concern under advisement and look at moving a digital speed sign from another area into the area of new concern.
During Planning & Zoning, the council heard from Planning Superintendent Jon Pettit regarding an application for a new home to be built on a property owned on Highway 43 by Mike Machutt. The Planning & Zoning board denied the application due to a 1000-foot setback from a feedlot. Machutt then made an application for a variance. The owner of the feedlot was asked by Pettit, prior to the formal application, if there was issue with the home being built and Pettit noted that there were no issues verbally noted at that time. The parcel is on the southwest portion of the area in question and adjacent to another 13.45 acre parcel.
Pettit further stated that the area has some difficult terrain. “That brings it into the hardship now. There just isn’t room,” he said. The applicant is asking to allow an 800-foot setback, instead of the 1000-foot requirement. The area is zoned Rural Residential. “It’s for his daughter to help on the farm. We have granted several extra houses for family members to help out. It’s not protected ag. That changes a lot of stuff. It’s really the county’s ordinance and we have to enforce it.”
A public hearing for the variance will be held March 16, at 6:45 p.m., at the Village Hall. It is open to the public. The next regularly scheduled meeting is that same night, beginning at 7 p.m.