Minutes: Special Mtg July 1, 2009

Village of Plain

Special Village Board Meeting of July 1, 2009



A Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Plain was held at the Municipal Building on July 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The following members were present: Raymond Ellenbolt, President; David Buchanan; Robert Jewell; James Liegel; Duane Meise; Robert Neuheisel; and, Merry Lynn Riek, Trustees.


Others present: Kevin Kraemer; Don Ederer; Jan Ederer; Angela Merritt; Richard Merritt; Dr. Mike Knoll; Dr. Michael Kieler; Wayne Bindl; Edward Prem; Rich Vogt; Natalie Bussan, Attorney for the Town of Franklin; Phil Studnicka; and, Barb Studnicka.


Notice of this meeting, along with the agenda, was posted at the following locations in the Village of Plain: the Municipal Building; the Plain Post Office; and, The Peoples Community Bank on Monday, June 29, 2009. 


The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and act regarding the 1981 sewer contract between the Village of Plain and River Valley Veterinary Clinic and to proceed with contractual obligations to annex as a result of the fifth connection to the sewer line.


The meeting was called to order by President Ellenbolt at 7:00 p.m.


President Ellenbolt encouraged everyone to voice their concerns.


Town of Franklin Attorney Natalie Bussan stated that in her opinion contracts should be between the municipalities, not the Village and the property owner. When a Village contracts with the Town, liens can be created on the property if a utility bill goes unpaid. Attorney Bussan asked for permission to speak to the Village Attorney before the next board meeting. She stated that the Town’s position is that a contract is not enforceable with subsequent land owners when a contract is not filed with the Register of Deeds.


Dr. Kieler stated that River Valley Veterinarian Clinic is concerned about Village ordinances pertaining to housing farm animals. The clinic does not want to be forced out of the Village because of their animals. The board stated that their farm animals will not conflict with Village ordinances. Dr. Knoll commented that he feels that since the clinic services the agriculture community then their taxes are better directed towards their patrons in the Township.


Trustee Buchanan pointed out that anyone connected to the Villages sewer system are bound to the Village sewer ordinances. Buchanan also stated that if the contract is considered to be void then the Village is not obligated to provide service.


Trustee Liegel shared information obtained from the Village Engineer. It would cost approximately $100,000 to replace that sewer line. The current sewer line is 28 years old and estimated replacement time would be in about 20 years. When asked if they’d be willing to take on that kind of responsibility, Kieler stated that they would disconnect if it would come to that.

Dr. Knoll stated the River Valley Veterinary Clinic is willing to annex but he is not speaking for the neighbors. He also pointed out that nowhere in the agreement says that the annexation has to take place.


President Ellenbolt stated figures for sewer line maintenance and sewer revenue for the non-residential area. There is no profit margin. The properties without Village water would continue to have their own well. If the annexation took place, the residents and the Village board would need to sit down and agree on what needs to be grandfathered in.


Don Ederer stated that he feels that the Village is assuming that Ederer Dairy Supply is not paying their fair share.


Dr. Kieler questioned why the Village would want to take on the risk of annexation with a potential cost of $100,000 for replacement cost. The property taxes would not offset the cost. The Village feels that there was a contract and it should be honored. It has been acknowledged that the contract was not followed entirely. Ellenbolt stated that something does need to change.


Kevin Kraemer brought to the attention of the board the Schluter property to the south of the area being discussed that could potentially be developed. That development would need to loop through the sewer line in question. The annexation is the right thing to do.


Don Ederer said this entire annexation issue got started on the wrong foot and it has not been corrected. He feels the Village has not given them a reason why it has to be done now.  


A new contract is not needed. There is already an existing contract. The Village is not going to force them to annex into the Village. A letter will be sent to the property owners stating the Village’s standpoint. This letter gives everyone another month to think it over and look at all the options. If for any reason the contract is not binding, then it falls back onto the Village ordinances.


The Vet Clinic repayment would possibly include Schreiner and Merritt’s non payment and $10.20 per foot for their frontage.


Meise motioned to send a letter to the property owners. This was seconded by Buchanan and carried unanimously.


Liegel motioned to adjourn to closed session at 8:08 p.m. Riek seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Roll call vote: Ellenbolt – Yes; Buchanan – Yes; Jewell – Yes; Liegel – Yes; Meise – Yes; Neuheisel – Yes; Riek – Yes.





Sheila Tafs