Village to undergo ordinance review

Part of implementing new Comprehensive Plan

ELLSWORTH – The Ellsworth Village Board voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 7 to enter into an agreement with UW-River Falls, who will review the village ordinances to make sure they effectively align with the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan.

Village President Becky Beissel said the cost of the review is $2,500 and is part of implementing the Comprehensive Plan.

“In order to effectively align village ordinances with the Comprehensive Plan and ensure future development meets community priorities and values, it is recommended that a review and revision process occur,” a memo in the village board packet states.

UWRF will review and suggest revisions for the historic preservation, land division and subdivision regulations, zoning and floodplain ordinances. In an outline provided to trustees, UW-River Falls staff provided a timeline for the revision and recommendation process which would include:

• Discussions with village staff to identify concerns and challenges (Month 1)

• Detailed review of ordinances and development of recommended revisions (Months 2 and 3)

• Presentation and discussion of proposed revisions, along with village attorney (Month 4)

• Submission of final recommendations (Month 5) Once the revisions are recommended, it will be the village’s responsibility to have the revisions legally reviewed and to develop the language for any changes. The process also involves public outreach and meetings.

Beissel also brought up the point of code enforcement, which the board will have to address at some point.

“There’s no point in having them (ordinances) if we can’t enforce them,” Beissel said.

Other business

The Ellsworth Village Board will have a sneak peek of the new Ellsworth Public Library (388 W. Main St.) at 5 p.m. Jan. 5. Staff have been waiting for the furniture to be installed.

Melinda Casper, a resident living near the old junior high (254 N. Chestnut St.) asked for an update on the demolition timeline and abatement procedures. Nothing has been scheduled yet.

The board approved 2023 health and dental insurance for employees. The Health Partners level-funded plan will save an estimated 22%.

The board approved a four-year contract with Key Benefit Concepts in the amount of $7,675 for an actuarial liability study and update, which is required by the village’s auditor.

The board approved change order requests for the new library project from Ayres Associates totaling $102,411,71.

The board approved an agreement with HK Solutions Group in the amount of $35,490 for a manhole rehabilitation project.

The board voted to refund Scott and Hollie Forsman and Justin and Tamara Billeter for building permit fees they paid. They are being refunded because the proposed structures are not permitted in the ETZ zoning area.

The board approved annual salaries for the following positions: $85,000 for Police Chief Eric Ladwig and $8,000 for the village president effective after the April 2023 election.

November 15, 2022