At the regular meeting of the common council held on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, the council tackled a very small agenda that contained only two business items. One of those business items; however, is proving to be a very sticky situation.
During department reports Administrator Sandi Frion told the council that the old boom truck and police car had sold, there will be another downtown craft fair with food trucks on Oct. 3, and that the Joint Area Meeting is scheduled to be held Sept. 28. Alderman Kevin Meinen then updated the council on what the park committee has been up to saying that most of the new equipment is in, all they are waiting on is the ship, and that they are going to be looking into a camera system for the North Park.
The council then took a moment to recognize David Lambert for his 38 years of service to the city of Bloomer. Mayor Koehler present Lambert with a plaque in honor of his service.
Moving onto the business items the council approved a street use permit for St. John’s Lutheran Church. This permit was for a wedding where the bride and groom decided they would like to move it outside to better observe social distancing guidelines.
The second and last business item on the agenda was discussion and consideration on a utility easement proposal for Wilson Rentals, LLC. Because no feasible options have been found for completing the sewer main and there by providing water and sewer to two lots owned by Lon Wilson on which Wilson and his son wish to build duplexes the easement was brought before the council.
The easement would allow water and sewer services to the lots by running through a piece of property currently owned by Wilson that sits directly behind the unserviced lots. According to preliminary numbers provided by Wilson the easement option would be at least half the cost of finishing the sewer main. This option was heavily debated.
The council heard comments from Wilson himself, manager of the water department Bill Miller, as well as fellow aldermen and Attorney Gierhart.
Miller is worried about the city making exceptions to the sewer use ordinance and creating future problems. Aldermen tossed around the idea that how they handle the situation could set a precedence.
Wilson is concerned about being placed in a category where he doesn’t belong. Wilson also told the council when he bought the property he was told that utilities were there, he believes that the city should have finished the main years ago. Wilson told the council he does not blame the current council but “we’ve all got a problem now and how are we going to fix it?”
Attorney Gierhart suggested that any decision be put off until more bids can be gathered and more possible options explored so that they would know what all the options, and costs, actually are.
In response to the council’s fear of setting a precedent Wilson cautioned the council saying “you can’t have one size fits all” in every situation, that some must be dealt with based on the circumstances of that particular situation.
The council decided to put the matter off until more bids and options can be gathered.