By Tony Ends


BRODHEAD – Motorists will have to take it easy for awhile crossing the West 3rd Avenue railroad tracks west of the fire and police stations.

City attorneys, following Common Council action last week, are pressing harder on Wisconsin and Southern Railroad to speed up repair.

Public Works Director Rich Vogel has measured the drop difference at 2 inches, rail to surface.

Brodhead requested by resolution last October that the railroad address the problem within 30 days, but Wisconsin and Southern replied that repairs would be completed within 18 months.

The new resolution legal counsel is taking to the railroad now avows by resolution that the city is prepared to file a formal complaint with the Office of the Commissioners of Railroads.

Vogel told the council he can obtain traffic volume equipment from Green County at minimal expense. Evidence will be needed in the event the city petitions for the railroad commission to take Brodhead’s part to hasten repairs.

In other action reported from city meeting minutes earlier in January:

Snow and ice removal: Vogel alerted City Council members that he’d gotten complaints regarding snow-covered and icy sidewalks.

As of Jan. 11, city workers had logged 60 hours removing snow and ice from public sidewalks both downtown and in residential streets.

Citizens will receive an invoice for $150 payable to the city for performing the service. Vogel said the snow and ice removal was 10 days after storms blanketed the city.

Public safety: Council approved operator license applications for Heather Mershon, Cheryl Buroker, Sarah Abb and Glayden Wahler.

Police Chief Hughes addressed an ongoing Trailer Park License issue. No fence has been erected on the property per the direction of the council, Hughes stated.

Cardinal Crest did respond to a letter city council instructed its attorney to send them, and they did agree to construct additional fencing in the area.

Cardinal Crest’s communication Dec. 23 advised the city that they had constructed fencing and sent pictures of the work. Vogel subsequently advised the city council that there wasn’t sufficient fencing constructed. Attorney Mark Schroeder relayed that information back to Cardinal Crest.

City Clerk Teresa Withee told city council that the license has been paid for but not issued at this time. Chief Hughes stated that public safety agreed that this should be followed up in the spring and the license should be addressed at that time.

Plan Commission: Attorney Schroeder reported that a final extraterritorial CSM for Carol Maveus was reviewed; she is requesting permission to divide one large lot into two lots.

He stated that this complies with the city’s comprehensive plan, and that the plan commission recommended approval. City council members approved the request.

Mayor’s Report: Mayor Pinnow advised that there is an open seat on the council. Clerk Withee explained that all write-in votes in the April city election will be counted.

Building Inspection: Attorney Schroeder introduced the proposed long-term contract for SAFEbuilt Wisconsin, LLC. He advised council that this is essentially the same contract, except that this agreement will be in effect for 12-month intervals with a 30-day notice if either party would like to terminate the contract.

The company will be compensated according to a percentage of fee collection for inspections. There is also an hourly minimum for services outside of the permitting process.

Council approved the contract.

In terms of the inspections fee schedule, Mike Post told the council that a standard template for surrounding communities will be employed, such as is in Evansville, both the Town and Village of Oregon and Town of Beloit.

City Council member Fox expressed concerned that citizens will not repair their buildings due to the increase in fees. Mayor Pinnow asked SAFEbuilt will be involved in zoning.

Post told the common council that SAFEbuilt included zoning in its proposal. Schroeder stated that the building inspector is the zoning administrator according to ordinance. Schroeder stated that all fees can be changed by resolution.

Pinnow asked who will enforce ordinances in the event of noncompliance. SAFEbuilt stated that they will make several attempts to enforce and will contact the police department if a citation needs to be issued. The council approved the fee schedule, with only council member Fox opposing.