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Muldoon Street to finally become a village street

The Hammond Village Board came to a consensus Monday night on how to proceed with the Muldoon Street issue, which has been a topic of contention for months.

The Board voted 5-1 to proceed with paying Ayres Associates to map out a topographical survey of the parcels involved in the street maintenance dispute south of the railroad tracks near the water treatment plant. Trustee Laurie Gruber was absent and Trustee Sandy Brecht cast the dissenting vote. The board also decided to proceed with transferring a parcel owned by Mary and Carl Hemenway to the village using a quitclaim deed. At a previous meeting, $2,000 was allocated for the survey and deeding process.

According to Wikipedia, a quitclaim deed is a legal instrument by which the owner of a piece of property transfers a property to a grantee. The owner terminates , or “quits,” any right and claim to the property, thereby allowing claim to transfer to the recipient.

When the railroad first came through Hammond more than 100 years ago, changes were made to the streets in that area, resulting in today’s confusion. Plat maps of the area throughout the years sometimes leave out Muldoon Street, which runs parallel to the railroad tracks, and make it part of Bushnell Street.

For years, the village and Muldoon Street residents operated under the assumption that Muldoon Street was a village street, when in fact, it was never platted properly as a street, and is therefore considered private property.

Village President Tony Bibeau explained to newly elected trustee Stan Kolakowski that for the village to have a legal right to maintain the street and make improvements, the Hemenways have agreed to quitclaim deed a portion of their property to the village.

Trustee Wally Graf spoke in favor of at least getting the street driveable with gravel and making it ready for asphalt in the future, when another village paving project can be done in conjunction with Muldoon to cut down on costs. He suggested possibly paving Muldoon when the second half of Davis Street is redone.

“The legal confusion over 100 years is gone if we get this done,” Graf said.

Brecht wasn’t convinced the village should go this route. She questioned how taking over Muldoon and improving it would benefit the village.

Graf rebutted by saying Muldoon Street residents have been paying taxes for decades, which goes toward village streets, plus the village has been receiving money from the state for the maintenance of the street, since it was assumed to be one.

Greg Adams of Ayres Associates presented the board with a design contract that showed the entire scope of the project should the village decide to move forward with completely rehabilitating the street.

He pointed out that while he doesn’t think it’s feasible for the village to take on such a big project right now, it is the village’s obligation to provide a passable street for fire and emergency vehicles.

After much discussion, it was decided to perform the survey and deeding for now, and look into the cost and feasibility of building a sand base and hauling in gravel to not only make the road driveable, but prepare for the future possibility of paving.

Village attorney Tim Scott advised the board to obtain a letter of title on each parcel with a list of potential encumbrances, which includes four homeowners.

Other business

  •  The board approved a Davis Street closure request from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Saturday Aug. 9, for the Heartland Days Car Show.
  •  The board approved a Charlotte Street closure request from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Saturday, Aug. 9, for the Heartland Days Outdoor Showcase.
  •  The board approved a street closure request from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 13 for Charlotte Street from Vine Street to Main Street, and Davis Street from Third Street to Broadway Street from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 for Running of the Llamas.
  •  The board approved a beer garden permit application for JJ’s Sports Bar for July 11-13, with the stipulations that the area be fenced, that the fence be taken down within 48-72 hours after the event and that any outdoor music be done by midnight.
  •  The board approved alcohol beverage license applications for July 1-June 30, 2015, for the BP gas station (Amwest Co.), JJ’s Sports Bar (JGP Enterprises), Hammond Hotel (Don Fowell), Parkside Restaurant and Bar (Anderson), Ras’ on Main (GJGT Corp.) and SSG (Holiday).
  •  The board approved renewal operator license application for July 1-June 30, 2015, contingent on the applicants completely filling out the applications.
  •  The board authorized Police Chief Rick Coltrain and Public Works employee Bob Trudell to look into speed limit signs on County Road T.
  •  The board approved transferring $5,000 from the street outlay to the street maintenance fund for sealcoating and striping County Road T.
  •  The board approved transferring $700 from the election outlay to the building inspector fees fund.
  •  The board set 6:10 p.m. July 14 for a public hearing on the subdivision ordinance.
Sarah Young

Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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