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City of Wykoff to ‘reacquire’ tennis court from Kingsland Middle School


Fri, Nov 15th, 2013
Posted in Wykoff Government

In 1964, a piece of property was deeded to the then Wykoff School from the City of Wykoff. Today, that piece of property is known as the Kingsland Middle School tennis court. The parcel of land sits between the fire station and a residential home, just a few steps east of the Kingsland Middle School.

Mayor Lyman Hare had approached Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald about purchasing the property for city use, especially since Kingsland does not use the courts. McDonald was receptive to this and brought the idea to the school board. The board decided to give the parcel back to the City of Wykoff with the condition that Wykoff would pay any legal fees to obtain the land again. Councilman Mitch Grabau asked if this would affect the ‘green space’ needed for the school and Mayor Hare responded he felt it would not do so after considering the amount of green space of the football fields and other areas. Councilman Comstock made a motion to take back the area from the district and Councilwoman Lund seconded the motion; it was carried unanimously.

A Wykoff citizen addressed the council with her concern over the proposed Kingsland referendum and the closure of the middle school location. The council was asked if they were approached by anyone or if they were aware of any economic study if the closure were to move forward especially with a new waste treatment center in the works as well as how it would affect local businesses and the economy. Mayor Hare stated, “We have not been approached, to my knowledge, as a group.” He further stated he had attended the school board meeting when they voted on ‘that’ [the referendum] and spoke to their [Kingsland’s] superintendent. Hare elaborated, “Jeremy [Councilman Comstock] and I met with the superintendent and two of their board members months ago over at the school…they did a slide show and at that time they showed the three options and what they were planning on running...And at that time with their two board members there and their superintendent I just told them that I didn’t think the time was a good time, proper time with us building a new sewer. We are dependent upon the school district for water, for one. The tax payers of the city would have it go up on their statement. The other referendum isn’t even paid for yet that had been approved. So there’s several issues out there and I did share that with them…But their board did approve it and go along with it.”

Councilman Grabau asked if the council could drop a letter of resolution stating that they are not in favor of the school closure. The Wykoff citizen addressed the council, saying that she understood they were two separate communities but they are one district together. She went on to say she did not understand how the district could make a decision for the town of Wykoff and the economy of Wykoff without any representation from the community. She asked if there was anything the council could do, understanding they may not be able to stop it, but to represent Wykoff. Mayor Hare acknowledged what was being said and recommended the council wait since the board is still in the planning stages. The Wykoff citizen asked Mayor Hare, “Don’t you think that this would help them with their planning though if they knew that there was a foundation to say ‘maybe this is something to consider when we are planning’ opposed to coming up with a plan and saying ‘oh it’s too late now’...I personally thought before they get a plan set it would be advantageous to the city to be heard prior the them [Kingsland School Board] making a final decision...our communities support each other; in a district where we are consolidated we have to support each other and look out for each other; it’s not just one city.” Mayor Hare stated they could not act on it right then but they would put it on the new business agenda for the December meeting for further discussion.

Fire Chief Wade Baker addressed the council asking for approval for two fire extinguishers to be mounted in the new truck. The total cost will be $363.39 and Baker’s wish was granted. Baker also brought up the 1977 Dodge 4x4 used as a grass rig in the past. The general idea is to find the title to the old truck or apply for a duplicate title, if possible, and have a bidding process for the vehicle. The money made from selling the truck could be put towards next year’s budget for the fire department. The council was in agreement with Baker’s idea and gave him permission to move forward in hopes that a title could be found since the truck was originally obtained from the DNR.

They Wykoff First Responders program will continue, according to an email sent to City Clerk Davis from LeRoy Eickhoff. There are three current responders who have volunteered to step up and take over leadership roles for the group. Eickhoff stated a few details needed to be worked out, but he does not anticipate any problems. Doctor Steve Harder has agreed to be the medical director and Jim Cooper of Spring Valley Ambulance will provide training.

The Wykoff City Council will meet again on December 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. It is currently the last scheduled meeting of the year.

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