The Village of Poynette will begin the process to discontinue and vacate the unused alleyway located adjacent to the Sandhill Apartment complex at 210 Howard Street. The decision had unanimous approval from the Village Board. The area in question is between E. Tomlinson and E. Seward streets.
Owner of the complex Erica Radlund recently filed a letter and application with the village. Approval by the trustees is the first step in a multi-step process.
A notice will go to the Register of Deeds that a resolution will be introduced — which Village Administrator Martin Shanks plans to have done for the Oct. 26 village board meeting. No action will be taken, but a public hearing will be scheduled, with a notice also going to any neighbors of the complex.
The next step is for the Plan Commission to review and give feedback to the board. The final step in gaining official approval will happen after the public meeting, as action by the village board can be taken immediately, if it so chooses.
Shanks said that the process to gain final approval will take about two months after giving notice to the Register of Deeds.
The reason for the discontinuance application was because the alley was an original part of the plat, created in 1946. Since then, the alley has gone unused and unimproved. It was noted that there are also no utilities underground. Public Works Director Scott Gorman, Village Engineer Kory Anderson and consultant Mark Roffers all anticipate no issues with vacating the space.
Shanks said that completing this process may help encourage further residential development in the area. He added that the Radlunds are in the early stages of considering to purchase the vacant lot to the east of Sandhill Apartments for their own future development. By vacating the unused and unimproved alley, it would allow for more flexibility for any such developments.
Village has no more rights to property sold to school district
The village initially sold two parcels of land to the school district in April 1996. After a couple of amendments, the district had until 2026 to build on the land. It was thought that after that period, the village could have the right to buy back any unused land. However, the district noted that since building the new elementary school, it terminates the contract, and the land will remain as district property unless it chooses to sell it in the future.
“They (the school district) recognized that if they built on the land, then the agreement is defunct,” Shanks said. “So the village rights to the property are no more.”
Trustee Steve Mueller asked if the school district needed to build on both parcels of land or just one. Village Attorney Chris Hughes said that the agreement was terminated as soon as the district began building the elementary school. The district has made no plans to build on the second parcel of land yet, and could possibly be open to reselling the property back to the village in the future.
The village had continued interest in the property because it is looking to expand its industrial and business areas.
Routes to Recovery
The Village of Poynette received a $41,115 grant as part of the Routes to Recovery program, which is funded through the CARES Act. From March 1-Nov. 6, the village can be reimbursed for several expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such expenses included in the program, and subject to reimbursement are:
— Election supplies and voting machines that support absentee voting and that reduce physical contact during elections;
— Personal protective equipment, including face masks/shields, gowns, gloves, boot covers, coveralls and hand sanitizer/alcohol wipes;
— Absentee mail drop boxes;
— Computers and other equipment that support virtual meetings;
— Municipality furnishings that can be easily cleaned and reduce contact points; and
— Long term building modifications to enable COVID-19 precautions, such as contactless paper towel or soap dispensers.
Shanks said the village has already bought “a plethora” of cleaning supplies over the last few months, with plans to purchase computer equipment, furniture, picnic tables and more before the Nov. 6 deadline hits. After such date, municipalities lose their grants and chance for reimbursements.
Tenjum joins DPW staff
Mitchell Tenjum was hired by the village to fill the vacancy within the Department of Public Works, Director Scott Gorman announced at the Oct. 12 village board meeting. The night of the meeting was Tenjum’s first day on the job.
“Mitch has good experience and a good background, and he’ll be a good asset,” Gorman said, also noting that Tenjum’s father, Mark, is a DPW Supervisor for the Village of DeForest.
Mitchell Tenjum is a graduate of DeForest High School and has a CDL learner’s permit, as well as experience in operating equipment, manufacturing, landscaping, utility locating, customer service, plumbing and farm work.