Pound Bans Mobile Homes Not In Mobile Home Parks Issue Date: June 10, 2020
By unanimous vote on Monday, June 8, Pound Village Board adopted an ordinance banning mobile homes in the village unless they are located in an approved mobile home park. Mobile homes already there are not affected. The ordinance defines mobile homes, including a length in excess of 45 feet, and prohibits parking them on any public place, street, or private property, or occupying one outside an approved mobile home park. Each offense could carry a penalty of not less than than $1,000, with each day as a separate violation. Questions from board members specified that pre-fab houses are not considered mobile homes.
Action on several items, including purchase of a new mower and tractor was tabled for further discussion at a special meeting set for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. Other items may be added to the agenda for that meeting.
Audit price quotes were discussed and that item too was tabled for further discussion, particularly with current auditor Joel Rennie, whose price was far lower, but board members were concerned that his audits back to 2016 are not yet completed.
Board members present were trustees Mike Rogodzinski, John Homontowski and Mary Meyer and Board President Terry Earley. Trustee Wayne Gross was absent.
Rogodzinski reported the fire department has decided to stop holding its annual fund raising picnic and truck pull, and none will be held this year or in the foreseeable future. He said the immediate decision to not hold the event was coronavirus, but overall, the event is too much work for the very small profit. He said some years they only reason they made a few dollars was that Dan Risner and many other businesses never charged them He said Risner always donated his time and and machinery and the fire department felt it it was not fair to the donors if they made only a $500 profit, and some years instead it was a loss of $500 or so. He said the fire department will continue holding its raffle, and may plan an open house or other event for some time in fall when the winning raffle ticket are drawn. He invited anyone interested in sponsoring picnics or truck pulls to do so, and offered use of the department's picnic equipment.
During time for public comment at the start of the meeting there was a heated discussion with former Public Works Director Kevin Schutte involving several issues, including the Public Works Department inventory and missing items, including a $744 air compressor, a generator and a brand new $1,200 chop saw. That discussion led to an angry response from Rogodzinski, and then other exchanges involving Schutte at various points later in the meeting. Schutte's employment with the village was terminated by the board after a closed session discussion in January.
Among Schutte's complaints was that the village had given numerous metal items to Del Hannon in return for having them hauled away as part of clean-up efforts by new Public Works Director Scott Fuelle. Schutte maintained some of the items given to Hannon could have been sold and others had resale value.
At its previous meeting the board had discussed Schutte's reuest to obtain some of the concrete traffic bumpers that the village no longer uses. An article on that meeting said he had agreed to pay $15 each for them. At the June 8 meeting Schutte said this was an error. Earley said he had told Schutte the price would be $15, but no agreement was made. After some discussion on Monday, the board agreed to give Schutte a number of the bumpers at no charge.
Another public comment speaker was former Trustee David Navis, who wanted to know what the village was going to do about the missing chop saw and other items. He said Schutte had purchased it from Gendron's for $1,200. The invoice was paid, but "between now and when Kevin left, it is nowhere."
Meyer commented if they could not find it they would need to report it stolen, "and then they would ask us if we had information on where it could have gone."
Schutte caustically said they should also investigate the missing claw hammers.
"We had a lot of things that aren't around any more," Meyer responded.
Fuelle said when he finishes his inventory they can itemize what is missing.
Hannon wanted to know what they were doing "about the junk yard behind me,"and was told the mobile home issue would be covered later in the meeting, but the "junk yard" issue was not on the agenda for discussion, but he was to have a discussion with the property owner in a few days.
The board has been struggling with the mobile home and junk yard issues since at least February, when they addressed complaints from neighbors upset over a mobile home the new owners had moved onto a property at 4004 Business Hwy. 141, and what they described as junk vehicles being brought there. The mobile home had been moved in without a permit, and later was removed by orders of the village board, but discussion at the board's June 8 meeting included concerns that they might bring it back, since the village has no zoning ordinances and no specific regulations for mobile homes.
Jennifer Baker was on the agenda for the board's February meeting to address issues concerning the property at 4004 Business Hwy. 141, which she and Scott Marks had recently purchased. Plans were to repair collector vehicles and other equipment there. Three neighbors present for that meeting had complained about the older model mobile home that Baker and Marks and moved onto the property without a permit and said they appeared to be preparing to live in it.
The new owners explained the property had been used for commercial purposes prior to their purchase, and said they plan to continue using it for commercial purposes. Subsequently they had been ordered to remove the mobile home, and did so, and to construct a privacy fence around their vehicles. They did put up a fence, but apparently it is a fence that still allows view of the unlicensed vehicles parked there.
In response to Hannon, Earley said the village has ordinances to deal with junk yard issues. Hannon understood the owners want to bring their mobile home back to their property in the village and demolish it there. Earley said he has a meeting scheduled with the owner in a few days.
"I believe they'll just keep pushing the envelope until it gets too uncomfortable and then they'll go away," Meyer commented. "We need to stand there until they do it, make it a hobby."
At its previous meeting the board agreed to establish committees to handle complicated issues, and Homontowski suggested they create a committee for this one.
Later in the meeting, the board unanimously approved Earley's proposal to create two committees. They are a Finance, Budget and Personnel Committee, with himself and Gross as members, and a Public Safety and Public Works Committee with himself and Rogodzinski as members. There also will be a Parks, Community Center Recreation and TID District Committee, with Meyer and Homontowski as members.
There was considerable discussion on replacing the emergency warning siren. The old one was removed because had stopped working, and a new refurbished one costs over $10,000. Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz said she had spoken with County Emergency Management Coordinator and was told the county no longer recommends sirens. They prefer weather radios for tornado warnings, and phones for other contacts. Rogodzinski felt they should replace the warning siren. There was general agreement to have a poll included in the next utility bills. Homontowski suggested including a request for donations to help pay for it.
Due to budget concerns the board declined to provide a part time helper for lawn care during the summer.
They had learned the 20 foot strip of village owned property Earley had wanted to buy because he has been caring for it and it adjoins his yard was kept to provide future access for water and sewer lines to the industrial park behind it, so Earley said that made it a moot issue.
On more routine matters, Rogodzinski presented the Fire Department monthly report and financial statements. There were no calls in May, and no meeting due to coronavirus concerns. All inspections are complete and state compliant. Dan Pillath had completed entry level firefighter classes and can now put on an air pack and enter buildings.
The department had received a $3,516 grant from the M&M Community Foundation and will use the money to purchase two sets of turnout gear. There also was a $300 donation from Coleman/Pound Lioness Club.
Last winter, while responding to a call to a fire near John Richlen's property on Hwy. 141 their truck missed the driveway and tore up the grass, putting some "pretty good ruts" in the turf. Rogodzinski said that had messed up the grass pretty badly, and it was repaired by Fiedorowicz landscaping. He will update the board when the bill is received. He added that Richlen was very good to work with and very understanding.
Fuelle said there is a fairly significant water main leak on County Q that needs to be addressed and a hydrant connection that needs to be repaired.
There was discussion on canopy construction at the R-Store as part of a larger building project. The village has no setback rules. All beer, liquor and alcohol license applications were approved as presented, with Homontowski opposed and all others in favor. All are renewals. All financial reports were approved.
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