The Columbus City Council approved a condo plat for a development owned by John and Judy Morschauser during the common council meeting Nov. 7 at city hall.
The development, Condos on the Green II, will be located along River Road in Columbus. During a Sept. 19 council meeting, the Morschausers expressed frustration that the building process had hit road bumps due to new sewer regulations.
In 2016, the developers requested a change order from the city to continue building after the original project was halted several years earlier. The Morschausers began building again but due to an ordinance violation, the project was temporarily put on hold. The buildings had the wrong sewer laterals based on the city’s requirements.
“When they appeared before the council in September, their question was about water and sewer laterals and whether they complied with the ordinance,” City Administrator Patrick Vander Sanden said. “We were able to work with them and resolve that issue. In the process, we understood that with the plan they have with the continuation of the project, they needed to have a plat approved. It’s essentially a map to tell us where the buildings are going to go and how many.”
The Morschausers’ plan was approved by the city’s plan commission and moved along to the council, which had no objections to the project.
“There wasn’t any issue or concern,” Vander Sanden said.
New clerk appointed
Council members appointed Megan Moen as the city’s new clerk after a closed session. Moen will begin her new position with the city on Monday, Nov. 13.
“Per state statute, the city clerk is an appointed position so they had to formalize action to appoint her to the position,” Vander Sanden said.
Moen will replace Anne Donahue, who retired Sept. 1 after almost 30 years as city clerk and more than four decades as a Columbus employee.
On Nov. 8, Vander Sanden was moving boxes of files and other supplies across city hall to prepare for Moen.
“It will be a big change because Anne was here for so long,” Vander Sanden said.
Hall Road extension
Work continues on the new Drexel development on the city’s west side. The lumber distribution and supply company is building a large facility near Hall Road and the city plans to extend Hall Road from Highway 16 to Columbus/Fall River Road.
“It’s only about a block,” Vander Sanden said.
Drexel also made plans with the city to address storm water runoff after the new building is completed that would affect Hall Road.
“It was determined that both could be managed through the same storm pipe, essentially,” Vander Sanden said. “We decided we would work together with Drexel on the cost of that pipe and what we formalized was stipulations of who would pay for what, so there’s a portion of the pipe the city pays for and a portion Drexel pays for.”
2018 street projects
The city is beginning to plan for 2018 street projects and the council provided an update at the Nov. 7 meeting.
Columbus held its first information session last week on a project slated for next spring that includes work along East School Street and South Water Street. Mayor Michael Thom said he was pleased with the city’s efforts to reach out to residents along those streets that will be impacted by the road work.
Vander Sanden said the city has informed residents about the project through the mail and will continue to hold informational sessions in the coming months.
In his report to the council, Vander Sanden said newly-renovated James Street should be completely open early next week.
“I also want the community to know as we get used to the automated cart system, the department of public works requests residents put the carts up on the terraces, not the curb and gutter line, because it will present some issues when it snows and they need to plow,” Vander Sanden said.
Vander Sanden said brush pick-up will end next week and the recycling center will be closing on Dec. 2.
Chickens in the city
The city approved application and license fees for permits to allow residents to harbor chickens in Columbus. An ordinance to allow chickens in the city was approved in 2015.
“According to the ordinance we had to set a license fee and an application fee,” Vander Sanden said. “It is an annual fee and it covers administrative costs to make sure residents are in compliance.”
Residents can pay $25 to apply for the permit and $15 annually for a license.
The city honored Russell Dykstra for 34 years of service to the Columbus Fire Department.
“That length of time is certainly very impressive,” Vander Sanden said. “He’s taken on a lot of different roles with the department and it’s important to note that achievement and his dedication to the city.”
Thom read a proclamation and Dykstra received a plaque from Fire Chief Randy Koehn honoring his milestone.