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City pursuing development agreement for 72 rental units

Monday night's New Richmond City Council meeting began with the ceremonial swearing in of Officer Matthew Feeney, the most recent addition to the New Richmond Police Department. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia

Monday night's New Richmond City Council meeting began with the ceremonial swearing in of Officer Matthew Feeney, the most recent addition to the New Richmond Police Department.

"Matt comes to us with a lot of experience out of Dunn County. So far, he's made a big impact on some medical issues and different things going on in the city of New Richmond. He's been very proactive during his training. Matt comes from a long line of public servants. I understand his father's here, retired from the City of Menomonie Fire Department. We're very fortunate to have Matt," said Police Chief Craig Yehlik.

Council members unanimously approved a motion authorizing city staff and the city attorney Nick Vivian to work with PRE/3, a professional property development and management company from Brookfield, Wis., to finalize the development agreement for Foster Place. Plans call for the construction of six, 12-unit apartment buildings valued at $6 million on an 8.7-acre parcel located at 801 W. Eighth St. The motion allows PRE/3 to proceed with construction scheduled to begin in June. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Staff will be working with the developer to resolve several concerns expressed by council members including revision of the traffic circulation plan to accommodate fire and rescue vehicles and the addition of a fence or enhanced landscaping to address noise and privacy issues on the west side of the development.

Alderman Mike Montello disagreed with Alderman Jim Zajkowski's suggestion that the city ask the developer to pay for new sidewalks and a trail connection to Monette Park.

"Relative to the question of asking for them to pay for more, asking them to pay for a sidewalk, that's completely counter to what the city's policy is. To say, here we have somebody who's doing a project, we should ask them to pay for it. The fact that they're putting a trail in, the fact that they're spending $300,000 in impact fees, and we want something more, I'm baffled. I am completely baffled that you would ask for anything else. There's no sidewalk there. All the homeowners who put sidewalk in, they don't pay for it, but we're going to ask this property owner to do that. I wouldn't support that," said Montello.

Other business

• The Public Works department installed solar lights at the base of each tree in Cyclone Park as a way to remember the 117 victims of the 1899 cyclone. The remaining balance of trees to reach 117 will be planted June 12, 2019 on the 120th anniversary of the cyclone.

• Council members approved Resolution #051901 amending the schedule of permit fees for building and adding additional building department fees. The new fee schedule went into effect May, 1, 2019. The new fee schedule including changes and additions can be found online at on the Building and Zoning Department page, www.newrichmondwi.gov/Zoning.

• The Council awarded the contract to build the new 20-by-68-foot Park Storage Building at Freedom Park to Structural Buildings for a price of $48,545.

• The 2019 1st Quarter Financial report is available at www.newrichmondwi.gov. City Finance Director Rae Ann Ailts noted the bump in first quarter revenues was the result of the sale of the Park Building in January which added $365,000 to revenues while the unexpected late season snow events added $70,000 to expenditures.

• The Police Department's K-9 Fun Run fundraiser takes place Saturday, May 18. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with costume judging running until 9:45 a.m. The 2-mile run/walk with dogs starts at 10 a.m. at Cyclone Park near the Police Station. Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged at: https://sites.google.com/view/nrpdk9classic/home. Cost is $20 per person or $30 per family.