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Members of the Reedsburg Fire Department were honored for their service to the city at the council’s first meeting of the year.

Reedsburg First Assistant Fire Chief Bill Ritzer, Firefighter Jim Krueger and Firefighter/Fire Inspector William Zimmerman were recognized for their service and retirement from the fire department at the Jan. 8 common council meeting. All three received proclamations from Mayor David Estes. Zimmerman received a certificate of appreciation for his 40 years of service to the city while Ritzer and Krueger served on the fire department for 36 years. The three carry a total of 112 years to the fire department and to the city.

“It’s a great day but yet a sad day to see this many of service retire,” Estes said.

Reedsburg Fire Chief Craig Douglas named several acknowledgements of the firefighters in additional to their general duties including serving as the department’s fundraisers, unofficial department historian, communications director and training officer.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Douglas said. “But we’ve got young firefighters that are going to step up and fill those roles and I’m confident of that.”

Krueger said the younger firefighters who serve on the fire department and children who learn about what it takes to become a firefighter was his favorite part about the job.

“There what make this department,” Krueger said. “They come to the station for fire prevention week, they come to our chili lunch, they come to our spaghetti supper, they stand there and some of them actually want to be a fireman.”

Other recognized for their service was firefighter Paul Bierman for 15 years, firefighter Mark Meyer for 30 years and firefighter Ben Johnson for five years. Meyer received a certificate of appreciate for his service to the city.

Fencing standards change

The city unanimously approved the second reading of a change in fencing standards for the city.

City Planner, Building Inspector Brian Duvalle said the change is to rearrange the language so the standards apply to all fencing in front yards, around pools and near neighboring fences, not just residential fencing. The ordinance states no fence shall be erected within two feet of any public right-of–way and in-ground swimming pools shall be enclosed with a minimum of four feet high fence.

“It would enforce the orientation of the fences so the post, if possible, can be put on the inside (of fences),” Duvalle said.

According to the ordinance, another change is for fences to allow permanent, year round access to utility meters, and fences having a minimum setback distance from utility infrastructure. The ordinance also states “fences built within utility easements or 5 (feet) of property lines shall be removed at the property owner’s expense should access be required to utility infrastructure.”

Duvalle said this part of the ordinance is to address utility matters, like reading the electric meters.

Zoning amendment for driveways

The council unanimously approved the second reading for new zoning amendment for driveways regulations.

The new amendment allows for wider duplex driveways and for possible wider commercial and industrial driveways. According to the ordinance, two-family residential properties may have a single driveway up to 48 inches wide, while requirements for commercial and industrial driveways are to not exceed 35 inches in width, unless certain evidence of hardship is presented for an extension beyond 35 inches.

“There’s been a lot of driveways that were built especially for duplexes and commercial industrial uses that were larger so this would just mask what’s out there now,” Duvalle said.

The ordinance also enforces spacing requirements for driveway openings in new developments to be provided with a minimum of 12 feet between all driveways and six feet at all lot lines.

“A lot of the older driveways wouldn’t be able to meet the standards that are currently in there so this would lessen that and hopefully prevent any problems in the future,” Duvalle said.

Contact Erica Dynes at 608-393-5346 or on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews.