At the Tuesday, November 7 council meeting, City Clerk Mary Miner presented a property owner petition from Dan and Mary Jo Grimsrud. The item was added to the agenda.
The petition is seeking detachment from the City of Rushford of two parcels equaling 10.99 acres. The parcels have two buildings and as stated in the petition documents are rural in character and are not currently developed for urban residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. The petitioners state that the detachment is being sought because it is more suitable to a rural development plan. According to the document, the Grimsruds previously petitioned the City of Rushford to dedicate a portion of the property as a public road, to allow development, but that the request was denied.
“This has been talked about for some time,” said Mayor Gordon Johnson. “It’s their position that they have no access to the property unless it becomes part of the Village.”
There was some confusion from the council on whether or not the Grimsruds were the only petitioners. Four other residents are listed in the petition: Doug and Marie Botcher and Travis and Natasha Link. It was later determined the additional parties were noted as adjacent property owners. Johnson also noted that the Links purchased the Grimsrud’s former home, which is in the Village.
City Attorney Tom Manion noted that the petition may move forward to the state if one of the affected municipalities passes a resolutions signing off on the petition.
Johnson futher added that by signing, the Village is merely showing support. The petition resolution was approved by a unanimous vote by Councilors Mike Ebner, Dennis Overland, and Mayor Johnson. Councilors Chad Rasmussen and Chad Smith were present for the meeting, but were called out on a fire call just minutes into the meeting.
In other news, the city has approved a Community and Economic Development Associates contract. The extent of the contract is to assist the Village with its Economic Development Authority. The contract is not to exceed $12,339 and may be edited or stopped provided the city gives 30 days’ notice. It will provide for eight hours of work, every other week. The city has money in the current budget for the contract and the council has suggested adding more for 2018. The contract start date is January 1.
“We’ve been more reactive than proactive,” said Overland regarding the current status of the city’s EDA. “They have expertise in the area and time we don’t have.” CEDA may also assist the city with housing and business needs. “We have a comprehensive plan. It gives us a baseline to go from. They have expertise they can bring to the table,” added Overland.
The council held a public hearing regarding the proposed installation of a solar panel array at the property of Lee and Ione Loerch. The proposed system is 18.2 kw, nearly triple what is currently approved by city zoning. Current city zoning requirements were designed with suburban areas in mind, but the Loerch property is rural and far outside the constraints of a more populated area.
With no public comment at the hearing, the council approved the matter unanimously. Loerch thanked the council and recommend the Planning and Zoning Commission review the current guidelines.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, November 21, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.