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New raze order on Louisa, decide no bump outs

POSTED September 14, 2017 9:49 a.m.

DARLINGTON – The Tuesday, September 5, 2017 City Council meeting of the City of Darlington was called to order by committee chair Dave Breunig at 6:30 p.m.
    Mike Reuter, City of Darlington Building Inspector brought a house, at 816 Louisa Street, to the council’s attention. Reuter has sent several letters and notices to the owners Fabian and Delores Ortiz to repair the building and make it habitable. He stated the building is dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary and otherwise unfit for human habitation and Reuter advised the city to place a raze order on the property.
    To tear the building down would cost the city $15,000, but could make the money back in taxes.
    After much discussion council approved an order to raze on the property at 816 Louisa Street.
    •Gary Blazek of Vierbicher, Madison was present and asked the council if they would want bump outs included in the 2021 Hwy. 23 street construction plans. Bump outs are an extension of the sidewalk into the street. They are used to shorten crossing distances on streets, thus making it easier for pedestrians to cross the street safely. The question came from the Department of Transportation as they are finalizing plans for the Main Street reconstruction.
    Dave Gough, council member, asked, “Why is this coming up again?” At the original planning meeting the bump outs received the lowest amount of votes. A motion and second was made to not have bump outs on Main Street. Approved unanimously.
    •Rock house on Spring Street (owned by Ted Thuli) – the raze order is still in effect, Thuli has reconstructed the garage on the property. Thuli has also petitioned the State Historic Society to have the rock structure deemed historic preservation status (and possibly eligible for grant funds). An answer from the Historic Society is expected by Oct. 15, 2017. It was mentioned that the mason will need take the stones down and completely rebuild the front.
    •Converting the upstairs of the municipal building into apartments - City Clerk/Treasurer, Phil Rieessuw stated there were two different firms that have toured the upstairs.
    •Disaster Declaration – Jeremy Williams, Dept. of Public Works Director, stated he has turned in approximately $35,000 in FEMA requests, in conjunction with Lafayette County. Theresa Burgess, Emergency Management Director has suggested that all municipalities that are requesting funds from FEMA – submit a signed Disaster Declaration. A motion and second were made to approve a Disaster Declaration. Approved.
Plan Commission
    Leslie and Susan Torstenson requested a conditional use permit, to build a garage, on their property where their house previously burned down. Even though the Torstenson’s own the property to the east and south of the lot in question, the commission has to look at just the lot alone. The conditional use permit is needed because the request is to build a 30’x 30’ garage, know as an “accessory structure”, on a single residential lot.
    Jeremy Williams asked the Torstenson’s, “Would you consider deleting the property line and make the house to the south and the lot in question all one lot?” The Torstenson’s replied we would need to pay for a certified survey map to make it all one lot and we could do that. The commission suggested the Torstenson’s combine the lots to avoid having a conditional use permit. The Torstenson’s were agreeable to combining the lots.
    In Other Business:
    •Approved a Temporary Class B Retailer’s License for the Darlington Chamber’s Wine Walk to be held Oct. 25, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
    •Approved a 2017 budget approval schedule.
    •Approved vouchers for the City, Water Dept., Sewer Dept. and Library for $1,007,698.

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