Oak Creek hires consultant

Town wants review of impact study on planned 18-acre subdivision

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In planning for the 18-acre Sierra View subdivision, which could bring 50 new homes to Oak Creek, Oak Creek officials want to ensure they are taking all the right steps, so they are hiring a consultant to review an impact study by the subdivision developers and iron out the details of a pre-annexation agreement be-tween the developers and the town, Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman said.

Before the 18 acres are annexed into municipal boundaries, the Oak Creek Planning Commission and the Town Board decided at a work session earlier this month that stipulations should be agreed upon between the town and the developers, distinguishing responsibilities and goals for building the subdivision.

The town is requiring the Sierra View Development Group to pay for costs of the impact study, infrastructure development, road paving and street light installation, among several other requests.

Because an impact study is required for annexation, the developers have studied several impacts the subdivision will have on the town, such as increased population, traffic and utility demands. Consultant Terrill Knight, of Knight Planning Services Inc. out of Eagle, will review the developer's study and advise the town on how to proceed, Knight said.

Knight will present his findings at the Oak Creek Town Board meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at Town Hall.

The board also will hear from another developer, Joe Bartasius, who is planning to build an apartment building downtown in the vacant lot to the right of Big Tunas.

Bartasius plans for the building to house six two-bedroom, one-bath apartments, and he wants to negotiate with the town the costs of the building's water and sewer tap fees, which could costs as much as $15,000, Bartasius said.

Bartasius said he wants to make the apartments affordable, in the $600 a month range, and that it would be it easier to do so if the town would lower the tap fees.

"With a smaller fee, I might actually be able to build it," Bartasius said.

The apartments are designed to be more than 600 square feet, with living, dining and kitchen areas, complete with dishwashers.

"I just felt that small apartments would be good for Oak Creek," Bartasius said. "Oak Creek is a wonderful little town and a great place for people to start out because it's affordable."

Bartasius also will request that the Town Board waive an ordinance that requires the first floor of all downtown buildings to be commercial space. Oak Creek has several vacant commercial spaces downtown, and Bartasius said he wanted to keep the first floor of his apartment building as residential space, but would convert it if there were a need for commercial space in the future.

The Town Board also will consider leasing the old Town Hall building to the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phipps-burg for an indefinite amount of time to help the Society's bid for a grant to turn the building into a museum, Rodeman said.

The renovations necessary to convert the building into a museum would cost about $200,000, Historical Society Treasurer Nancy Peckham said.

Proving that the Historical Society has a permanent place to reside will help greatly with receiving grant money, Historical Society member Bob Baker said.

In other business, the Town Board will consider signing a contract that would officially hire Rodeman as a subcontracting grant writer for the town for six months, which can be renewed upon Town Board review.

The contract states that Rodeman will be paid $25 per hour for up to 32 hours ($800 per month) to write grant requests and work on other town projects, such as building a town Web site.


-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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