The house located at 374 South Street may soon be demolished by the Village of Poynette as requirements from a raze or repair order to the owner, Dennis Jones, have been unfulfilled.
According to the village records, Dan Branton from Branton Builders did some work on the roof of the house in June. Branton still has work to do on the soffit and gutters, but has been unable to reach Jones with questions.
As of July 26, there has been no communication with the village either. A raze or repair order was issued on the home in May 2020 after General Engineering Company completed inspections.
It was recommended in July 2020 that the raze or repair order be issued by the village. Phase 1 was to have the home owner address the exterior of the home by Nov. 15, 2020, with Phase 2 of addressing the interior needing completion by Aug. 1, 2021.
Since just work on the roof has been done, with no evidence of any additional work, the village may raze the home after that Aug. 1 deadline. The house suffered damage from an electrical fire in late 2017.
Village Attorney Chris Hughes listed the next steps to be taken by the village, after obtaining a title report. The first would be to have a building inspector and a village official — Judainne Stronach volunteered to do so — to photograph the house to confirm the condition of the home has not been improved.
They should also determine if any personal property of “appreciable value” is in the home. Personal property of appreciable value is required to be sold or stored. If stored, the amount paid for storage is a lien against the property and real estate. When stored, if the owner does not claim the property within six months, it will then be sold. The proceeds go toward razing the home and all money needs to be reported to the circuit court.
Next is the actual razing of the home, which per statute, means “it will be demolished and removed, and the land will be restored to a dust-free and erosion-free condition,” per a memo from Hughes. He also noted that when the Curtis Cohen structures were razed in the village previously, the village hired Doherty to do the work.
If Jones does not pay the village to raze the home, the costs will become a lien against the real estate, which Hughes will record with the county. In the village’s previous case, Cohen paid for the razing, thus a lien was not recorded.
2020 audit of village finances nearly final
At the July 26 village board meeting, a presentation of the 2020 financial statements and an independent auditor’s report was done by Senior Accountant Hui Meng and Manager Brett Hofmeister of Johnson Block & Company.
Of note, the village’s General Fund balance from 2020 was $964,196, compared to $902,815 in 2019. Brett Hofmeister said the increase “was good, when you consider COVID.”
When talking about the General Obligation Debt vs. Capacity, Meng noted that the village has a G.O. Debt limit of $10,359,910, but only has $3,405,000 in outstanding debt. That leaves $6,954,910 that the village could still potentially borrow — giving the village an available 67.13% percent from the maximum. Meng called those, “very healthy funds.”
In 2019, the available debt was $5,509,555 — or 59%. The available percentage after 2020 is the highest it’s been for the village in the previous five years.
Also, within the general fund, the village has $915,750 in unassigned funds, which is about 46% of next year’s budget. From 2019, going into 2020, the village had 45% of unassigned funds. Meng noted that most municipalities are around the 25% mark, which again, puts Poynette in a good position.
“That’s the number we look at when we’re asked “how are we doing?” Hofmeister said of a municipalities unassigned funds percentage.
The village spent a little less in 2020 than it did in 2019 with governmental expenditures. Poynette had $2,617,895 in total government spending in 2020, compared to $2,643,693 the previous year. In the General Fund, the total expenditures were $1,676,458 — almost $70,000 more than in 2019.
In 2020, the village had $1,693,733 in total revenue, compared to $1,590,649 in 2019. For 2020, taxes accounted for 59.4% of that revenue.
With Poynette being in good shape financially, Hofmeister and Meng see nothing changing in the audit before it is finalized.
Stronach to sit on Parks Commission
Board member Judainne Stronach will take over the position previously held by Chris Polzer on the village’s parks and recreation commission, as appointed by Village President Diana Kaschinske.
Polzer has a scheduling conflict during the first Wednesdays of each month. He also sits on the board of directors for Madison College, a position he began serving July 1, 2020. Its board also meets on the first Wednesday of each month, and will continue to do so for the remaining two years of his initial term. The Madison College Board meetings are at 5:30 p.m., with the parks commission meeting at 6 p.m.
Pork in the Park given Special Event Permit
The board approved a Special Event Permit to the Poynette-Dekorra Fire Department for its Pork in Park event on Saturday, Aug. 21 in Pauquette Park. The board also approved temporary licenses for beer and wine to be sold.
Under the permit, the park’s closing hours are extended to 11 p.m., with amplified music allowed until that time.