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Shullsburg listens to complaint

POSTED July 27, 2017 10:32 a.m.

SHULLSBURG — The Shullsburg City Council met on a wild weather Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Gloria Swenson.
    A complaint by resident Larry Gobrecht involving the recent street and sidewalk reconstruction on Oates and Estey Street. Gobrecht presented a document to the city which listed eight complaints, which actually boiled down to one complaint. Mark Doyle and Bart Nies from Delta3 were present to handle the complaint for the construction firm Maddrell Excavating, LLC. Doyle and Nies had spent time looking at the Gobrecht property.
    Gobrecht’s first complaint was the construction workers encroached on his property. Nies stated the workers didn’t encroach, everything they did was on the right-of-way. Nies said, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” Gobrecht said, “Encroach means the same as trespass.” Nies responded, “I understand the term, sir. What exactly did they do?” Gobrecht said, “You broke my sidewalk, my sidewalk that approached to the house.” Nies, “So you didn’t want us to replace the sidewalk?” Gobrecht, “You have to leave like it was before the construction started.”
    Gobrecht said, “When you replaced the sidewalk inside the fence, you made it ADA compliant and sloped it to meet the city sidewalk.” He continued, “Now under the fence gate to the sidewalk, I have an eight inch gap instead of a four and a half inch gap.” Nies asked, Let me clarify, you’re saying you have eight inches from the bottom of the fence gate to the top of the concrete.” Gobrecht. “Yes and originally it was four and a half inches.” Neis explained, “Let me say that it is not illegal dropping the elevation of any street, I was just up there and I don’t see that it is eight inches. What we try to do is matching as best we can with driveways and sidewalks.”
    Gobrecht wants the fence taken out and replaced, lower so the gate is four and a half inches from the sidewalk. Swenson asked, “Can’t you just lower the gate?” Gobrecht answered, “Now you’re taking everything out of perspective, I have great-grandchildren and a dog that can slip out of that gap.” It was established that the gate is the problem and not the fence. Neis asked, “Can you take the gate off and redrill the hinges and lower the gate by four inches?” Gobrecht said, “Then you break the plain at the top, that’s not going to happen.”
    Discussion went back and fourth. Gobrecht would not consider a new gate to fix the problem. Duane Wedige, council member, said we should all go up and take a look at the situation first hand. Emmett Reilly, council member, summed things up, “Bart (Nies) has a solution, to lower the gate, but Larry (Gobrecht) is not acceptable to that, and Larry’s solution, to take the fence out and lower the landscaping, then put the fence back in.” No action was taken on the issue. The council will look at the situation.
Codification
    Marsha Clifford from General Code of Rochester, N.Y. made a presentation regarding a book/system of coding and organizing the ordinances of the city. A code book would be produced for the city.  The base cost is $10,823 with a $995 annual fee. An app is available for free where anyone can access the city’s ordinances. Type in dog and all the ordinances for dogs will pop up. The council will make a decision at a future meeting.
    Committee Reports: Water – Getting bids to replace the water truck, will make a decision Aug 2; may replace a trench box. Sewer – a gas system was installed; Delta3 is surveying for the phosphorous building; manhole inspections are being completed. Electric – A new transformer by the cheese plant will cost an estimated $20,000 (everything on the inside will be Shullsburg Cheese’s responsibility and everything on the outside will be the city’s); a line will be replaced at Heller Court by winter. Streets – discussed the Union Street water problem; discussed the horse dropping problem and decided it will be treated as littering and the department wants tickets issued, then maybe it will stop the problem. Police Chief Josh Jerry wasn’t onboard, but was willing to discuss it; Storm sewer problem on County O, will talk with Tom Jean. Park – trim trees, will make a list of trees that need to be trimmed or come down; Girl Scouts free library.
    In other business:
    •Approved a resolution vacating a portion of High Street and amending the official map of the City of Shullsburg.
    •Approved a preliminary certified survey map for property located at 174 & 171 E. Truth Street owned by Kathleen Heim to combine parcels.
    •Approved a resolution restricting future donations of other inscribed items on the Veteran’s Memorial.
    At this point the power flickered and went off and then came back on. Alarms in the building could be heard. The sky was black and then fire siren sounded. Several trees and branches had fallen.
    Now back to the meeting.
    •The council accepted a donation from Tom Lethlean in the name of his family and Aunt Sue Hall Hancock a WWII vet of a $7,500 donation to aid in the renovation and maintenance of the Veteran’s Memorial.
    •Approved new lights for the Veteran’s Memorial. The light poles will have an arm that will shine on the flag and one will shine on the memorial. The poles will be black. The current lights will be used in another location.
    •Approved street repairs for N. Iowa Street from Main Street to W. Truth Street. The repairs will cost $11,500.
    •Discussed the Union Street storm sewer drain. Butch Ubersox was present and stated gravel was washing into the drain system from above. Wedige said he will go into the drain and “look at it” before they hire a televising company. No action was taken.
    •Discussed a storm sewer problem located near County O. Wedige will talk to Tom Jean. No action was taken.

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