Rushford Village Council approves flood plain ordinance, discusses upcoming public hearing

By : 
Scott Bestul

It was a tale of two meetings for the City of Rushford Village Council on May 21. While no citizens appeared at a scheduled public hearing regarding a new floodplain ordinance, six attendees showed up to give input on a meeting yet to be held.

Floodplain public hearing

The village council has been working to adopt a new and revised floodplain ordinance for the last several months, and one of the final steps in that process was to host a public hearing to gather citizen input. To that end, the council held a public hearing, scheduled prior to their May 21 council meeting, that would allow village residents a chance to inspect updated floodplain maps and revised ordinance language.

No citizens appeared at this hearing, and later in the planning/zoning portion of the agenda, the council approved a motion by Councilor Overland to approve the revised floodplain ordinance. The council also voted to approve publication of the floodplain management ordinance (Ordinance #4) in the Tri-County Record, May 30 edition.

Speeding problems

During the Appearance of Interested Citizens portion of the meeting, village resident Arden Fitzgerald addressed council regarding vehicle breaking the speed limit near his home. “When is the village going to do something about this?” he asked. “I have people driving by my house at 50 miles per hour every day. Some kid is going to get killed.” Mayor Johnson replied that the village has speed bump strips that could be placed in the area and assured Fitzgerald that they would be installed soon.

Planning/zoning

Village resident Terry Hubbard has appeared before the council in recent months, concerned that a village ordinance would prevent the construction of a shed on his property.

Village planning/zoning rules currently ban the erection of a structure between the primary home and the main road from which the property is entered. Hubbard’s home sits on the back of his lot, which is located on Oakview Loop in the village, and he has appeared before the council at a previous meeting to contest the ordinance and has filed an application for a variance.

Planning/zoning Administrator Pettit has not only visited the site, but also noted, “The committee voted to support bringing the variance application forward to a public hearing.” Pettit said that hearing is designed to gather citizen input and is scheduled for June 18, at 6:30 p.m.

However, several village residents were in attendance, apparently to voice support for Hubbard’s variance. Joyce Iverson asked if there was paperwork available for public viewing prior to the meeting, and also requested that she be directed to sections of the ordinance pertinent to the Hubbard situation. Though the citizens in attendance seemed to be prepared to argue in favor of Hubbard’s variance, Mayor Johnson assured them that most of the council members were just “getting up to speed” on the issue, and the public hearing was the proper venue to give input. “We have a letter of support from area residents,” Johnson said. “The recommendation by the zoning [committee] is to go ahead with this, so we’re moving in the right direction.”

Schedule

The next meeting of the City of Rushford Village Council will be held on Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.