Oak Creek OKs annexation process | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek OKs annexation process

Zach Fridell

— The Oak Creek Town Board agreed to start the annexation process on a nearly 2-acre parcel as it approved a conceptual review for the Allegheny Gypsum project Thursday night.

The plan for the land, owned by investors in Pennsylvania, is to build two triplexes on the lot. The acreage is at the top of Grandview Avenue.

Erik Steinberg, the local representative for the project, told the Town Board that the project was slowed by the economic downturn but that because the project is small and designed to be attainable housing, it would still be viable.

“We need to bring some new energy and new housing, we’re trying to bring young families in here : there is a market for that,” he said.

After questioning from Mayor J. Elliott, Steinberg said he defined attainable housing as something that a couple could afford by setting aside 20 to 25 percent of their monthly income for housing.

He said he did not want to place deed restrictions on the properties because of the inflexibility it creates for young families, who Steinberg said would be the ideal occupants.

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Steinberg said he was reluctant to estimate how much the two-story units will cost, but he said the ideal cost would be $179,000 for each of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

The next step in the process is for the town attorney to draft a resolution to accept the conceptual plan and for the Allegheny Gypsum representatives to meet with the Planning Commission to work out the details of the annexation.

Town Clerk Karen Halterman said she does not expect anything regarding the project to be on the agenda for the November meeting, but she said she would contact the town attorney to start the process.

Contracts approved

The Town Board also unanimously approved a $14,946 contract with Nolte Associates to perform a Housing and Urban Development Environmental Standards Checklist as part of a grant requirement in relation to the town’s water tank.

The town also unanimously agreed to accept a memorandum of understanding with the Oak Creek Hockey Association to continue sharing responsibilities for the Oak Creek Ice Rink and warming hut on Kodiak Lane.

Resignation

Dave Fisher resigned unexpectedly from the Oak Creek Town Board in an e-mail he sent to the town clerk hours before the Town Board meeting Thursday.

Fisher offered little explanation, writing only that, “due to changing circumstances I am no longer able to execute the duties of Trustee as is required.”

Fisher noted that he had served as a trustee for the past 3 1/2 years and said his resignation was effective immediately. Time stamps on the e-mail show that it was sent at 3:30 p.m. The board took no action.

Another town board member, Dave Ege, resigned in September for personal reasons. Ege was replaced by Nikki Knoebel. Two other Oak Creek residents applied to fill Ege’s seat, but Halterman said they would have to re-advertise in order to fill Fisher’s position.

The replacements will serve until the April election, when voters will choose trustees for each seat.

Fee increases

The board also voted 3-2 to increase the water fees for the town by 10 percent, raising the monthly residential cost from $41 to $45.10. Trustees Chuck Wisecup and Nikki Knoebel voted against the increase. Elliott and Trustees Josh Voorhis and Wendy Gustafson voted for it.

Wisecup said he would prefer the town look through the budget again to find other savings, but Elliott said he had already gone through the budget and there was nowhere else to trim.

“I, for one, have got to vote for it,” Elliott said. “I don’t see any alternative. I think it would be remiss for us to underfund the department.”

Trustees unanimously agreed to increase trash rates by 50 cents a month but chose to table the motion to raise sewer rates 10 percent. Wisecup suggested that the board raise the sewer rates incrementally, adding 5 percent on Jan. 1 and 5 percent on July 1. Gustafson said she would review the budget to determine the impact of that delay.

Comprehensive plan delayed

The town delayed discussion of the comprehensive plan and land use code pending an update of the code. The company contracted to handle the comprehensive plan reportedly had not included several recent updates sent by the planning commission, and the plans were not ready for the board’s acceptance.

Rate changes

Water rates

Current rate, Increased rate

Residential Service: $41, $45.10

Reduced rate for senior citizens: $20, $22

General business: $61, $67.10

Restaurant without bar, grocery store: $92, $101.20

Motel, day care, restaurant/bar, community center: $114, $125.4

Out of town residential: $61, $67.75

Trash rates

Current rate, Increased rate

Residential: $20, $20.50

– Both new rates are effective Jan. 1