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Ferryville board okays tractor-pulling track
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The Ferryville Antique Tractor Association was granted permission by the village board to install a concrete tractor-pulling track in the baseball field area of the park.

Several members of the association explained the proposal and answered questions during a public hearing prior to the regular monthly Ferryville Village Board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Later during the meeting, board member Todd Lensing moved to approve allowing the association to construct the concrete track pending a finalized long-term lease agreement between the village and the association. The motion was seconded by village president Al Kirchner and approved by the board.

During the public comment period, village resident Ryan Diehl stated that board member Jean Rutter and her husband had illegally connected to the sewer system from 1995 until recently and they owed the village sewer fees for a 16-year period during which they were illegally connected.

Rutter did not respond to Diehl’s comments at the meeting. The board agreed to have the matter researched and addressed.

Since the meeting, village clerk Larry Quamme found sewer records indicating the Rutters had paid their bill in full since 1995 for the property at 177 Main Street.

The clerk also spoke with the village’s former public works employee, who explained that while staying in a trailer on the property, that was originally owned by Gary Rutter’s mother, the Rutters did use a pipe to empty wastewater from the trailer into a manhole located on the property as needed. Quamme indicated the former employee said there was nothing wrong with the procedure and that the Rutters stored the pipe on the property when they weren’t using it to dispose of wastewater from the trailer.

The Rutters have since removed the original house from the property and constructed a new house there in 2009. Records indicate the Rutters have paid their sewer bill in its entirety from 1995 to present, according to Quamme.

Neither Gary or Jeanne Rutter could be reached for comment on the situation.

During his statement, Diehl also questioned if the village was properly charging boat landing fees and using them for improvement of the boat landing facility as state law requires. Diehl used a story published in Midwest Outdoors as his source on how fees are to be charged and how the revenue they generate is to be used.

The board agreed to have the boat landing fees reviewed.

The board also took up several items discussed at the previous board meeting and approved a village employee discipline and grievance procedure as required by state law.

Clerk Larry Quamme reviewed the situation involving installation of streetlights at the intersection of Highway 35 and County C, as well as the intersection of Highway 35 and Lagoon Street. The board had previously approved the streetlight at County C. It was thought at the time of the approval last month that an existing pole could be used to mount the light there. The Lagoon Street light was put on hold at that earlier meeting because the board was told a pole would have to be installed at some expense to the village.

However, Quamme told the board after discussing the situation with an Alliant Energy Company official, it was learned the situation on the poles was reversed. A pole at Lagoon Street could be used, but a pole would have to be installed at the County C intersection.

Quamme told the board he was working with Alliant to see if they could make the installation of the pole free of charge because of their previous misinformation, which led to board action approving the County C light at the August meeting.

Meanwhile, the board approved installing a light at the Lagoon Street on the existing pole.

Board president Al Kirchener reported on a follow up on needed confined space equipment required by OSHA for the village’s DPW employee John Lomas to service the sewer system. Kirchener explained that some equipment owned by the Village of DeSoto could be borrowed and would not have to purchased by the village. However, the village would need to purchase a harness, yoke, hardhat kit and a gas detector at a cost of $888. Sharing the equipment with DeSoto will save the village $3,100, Kirchener reported. The board approved purchasing the necessary equipment.

In other business, the Ferryville Village Board:

• approved a withdrawal of the building permit for John Noga at his request

• considered in a first reading  significant changes to licenses and permits that would prohibit mobile home placement within the village-excepting lots that already have mobile homes on them

• considered a first reading of a proposed ordinance that would regulate new subdivision development within the village

• approved a “Class A” liquor license for Ferryville Cheese allowing it to sell liquor and wine

• approved a tax incremental district expense of $4,631 to help Ferryville Cheese pay for improvements to gas pumps  in part as a way to repay an overpayment made by the business on their incremental financing taxes last year

• approved an updated multi-hazard mitigation plan for the village as required by FEMA