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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Coleman Board Okays Property Cleanup Study

Issue Date: July 10, 2014

After a considerable amount of soul searching, Coleman Village Board at its meeting on Monday, July 7, voted without dissent to advance up to $1,500 for a study they hope will lead to restoring the D&G Mobile Quikmart property to usable - and taxable - status. Expected price tag is $1,015. The owner is to be asked to pay at least a portion of the cost up front. He and the village will be reimbursed if everything goes through and PECFA funds are obtained.

If all goes as planned the study to be done by Cedar Corporation of Green Bay and Professional Environ-mental Consulting Services will result in cleanup of petroleum contamination from underground storage tanks on the former service station property, with PECFA funding (from Wisconsin’s Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Act) helping pay for both.

Board members present were Village President Glenn Woulf and trustees Nancy Stank, Jeff Gosa, Jesse Parker, Wayne Smet and David Podoski. Trustee Diane Patz was absent.

First step for the entire agreement hinges on property owner Pat Zeke Hannon signing a pledge to repay the $1,015 to the village if he does not go through with the cleanup plan the study recommends.

The problems date back to at least 2008. The former service station is closed, but the board was told owner Hannon remains hopeful he can someday reopen his business there. Woulf said Hannon had asked him for help in getting clearance from state and federal regulatory agencies to return the property to its intended use. Woulf said Hannon told him the tanks were removed in 2008 and he did everything he was supposed to do, but the DNR says he has no proof. This situation has continued for a few years. Until somebody goes after this, it will go no place, Woulf declared.

Meanwhile, if there is contamination remaining on the property, it could migrate elsewhere and cause problems for other property owners and the entire community, Woulf cautioned.

Thad Majewski, professional engineer with Cedar Corp., explained to the board that Woulf asked him to look into the problem. Majewski explained reclamation of the property is pertinent to economic development in the village. He said the owner has tried for many years to get permission to operate a business there again. He said the owner had a lot of work done on the site, but apparently there are some misunderstandings between him and the DNR.

The study Majewski proposed will hopefully clear up those misunderstandings and give a clear picture of what has been completed and what still needs to be done.

He said it seems some of the work Hannon had done in the past was was good, some was not. Some was either not documented, or the DNR did not receive the documentation. Majewski estimated a price tag of $1,015 for Cedar Corp. to do the first phase of the remediation study on the site, where there is - or was - soil and groundwater contamination. Village involvement beyond that point could be decided at a later date.

In answer to concerns of trustees, Woulf said there are many liens against the property. Some of them are related to studies and other work already done toward site cleanup. He said the owner feels the work has been done and the agencies should let it go. However, he said, Majewski talked with the DNR and was told they do not have the information they need.

Cedar Corp. is to review existing documentation including all on file at DNR, and incorporate whatever additional information may be available from the village, prepare a site investigation work plan to complete investigation of the contamination, and communicate with the DNR in regard to that plan. The work plan is to be completed within 45 days after village authorization to proceed. Costs are estimated between $1,015 and $1,500. If other services are needed, such as a land boundary survey, further environmental services, construction of soil borings and ground water wells and monitoring, etc. will be provided upon request, apparently at additional cost.

Several board members expressed concern over the ultimate cost of remediation. Anything spent for cleanup would be reimbursed by PECFA, but only after the fact. Parker wondered if the village could afford to tie up the money until the reimbursement came through. It is conceivable the village could go through a process of condemnation and end up owning the property and being responsible for cleanup, Majewski said. Majewski estimated between $50,000 and $100,000 for cleanup when asked to give a worst case scenario.

Woulf said Hannon works hard, keeps the property insured, and pays enough taxes to prevent the county from taking it over. It’s not like he’s not trying, he declared. However, Woulf added, not only is there danger the contamination could migrate, the unused property is becoming an eyesore.

Majewski said if the contamination does migrate, cleanup costs could multiply tenfold.

Majewski reported the kickoff meeting for the village’s Economic Development study is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, July 10. Cedar Corp. has already looked at utility work for the proposed area, he said. Work is to be completed within 90 days after the kickoff. Parker questioned $10,000 for three months of work, and added he prefers that development not come too quickly.

Majewski said the $10,000 will come from the TIF, not the village general fund. He said they will look at all three areas proposed for development, with the possibility of proceeding with either a Build it and they will come, philosophy for sewer and water extensions, or a philosophy of keeping the plans ready to go, but on hold until a business comes along that wants to locate in one of the development areas. Utility work could then be done in conjunction with construction of the new business facility.

Plans are underway for the Fireman’s Picnic on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19. Raffle tickets are available from any member.

Moving on to other business, the board approved a new bartender license for Whitney Tachick, for Pelkin’s Piggly Wiggly; and renewals for Todd Gatzke, Danica DeGrave and Laurie Pivonka at Barnstormer’s.

The annual Open Book is to be held by appointment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 14. Board of Review is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Parker reported the recent Teenage Girls Baseball tournament was a huge success for the village from an economic standpoint. The event attracted about 1,000 people, and local business places, especially restaurants, reported being very busy. Intention is for this to be an annual event. He complimented the workers on condition of the ball field and park. Gosa also mentioned how nicely the parks are being maintained, and said they are getting very heavy use.

Podoski reported the Coleman Fire Department had one call in June, for a grass fire that kept firefighters on the job for an hour and a half, a total of 15 man hours. There have been 31 fires for the year to date. Annual hose testing has been completed.

Building Inspector Jim Buschman, in a printed report read by Woulf, said on June 7 he had visited a residence with no water supply and numerous other issues, and on June 22, he also visited a residence with health and sanitation, security and fire egress issues and said those items may require moving forward with condemnation proceedings.

Buschman reported he contacted the new owner of a fire damaged home at 111 E. Main on the demolition schedule and was told it will be down within a month.

Building permits issued in June went to Jerrie Boyer, 115 N. Franklin Ave., to continue remodel and deck with pool, for $1,000; Carol Vanhoff, 134 Prairie Court, patio door, $2,000; David Dufeck, 117 N. Park Ave., refurbish deck and steps and roof the shed, $1,000; Kathy Cudnohoski, 221 Linda Lane, new porch with steps, $1,000; Associated Bank, 118 Business 141N, remodel, $47,000; Christopher Lewis, 322 E. Main St., roof, gutters, windows and exterior doors, $20,000, and Mike Gruiz, 117 S. Park Ave., roof, including tear off, and front deck, $4,500.

Police Chief Ida Soletske reported 23 complaints in June, with seven adult citations issued, for a total of $1,316.40. In June court proceedings there were 13 adults, four juveniles, three just cause hearings, and no hearings for contempt of court or case reviews.

Soletske worked a total of 179 hours for the month. Clerk Katie Torres worked 40.75 hours for the court and 1.75 hours on police business.

Treasurer’s report presented by Stank showed total cash on hand of $372,435.31 at the end of June, compared with $413,938.42 at the start of the month. The total includes money in the checking account and money market savings at Associated Bank and Peshtigo National Bank. Disbursements for the month totaled $50,387.97, of which $11,675 was for payroll.


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