Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 17:43
Feedback at Monday meeting will help Port board decideif it should change land-use plan to comply with countyâ€™s
Town of Port Washington officials are seeking input from residents to decide whether to amend the townâ€™s land use plan to comply with Ozaukee Countyâ€™s plan â€” a decision that will determine whether town residents can participate in the stateâ€™s
revised farmland preservation program.
The Town Board will hold a special meeting Monday that will include a farmland preservation presentation at about 8 p.m.
â€śWe want to hear from the people this affects the most before we spend the money to amend our plan,â€ť Town Chairman Jim Melichar said.
The town sent 36 letters out to landowners who have been involved in the farmland preservation program, he said, although itâ€™s not known if all of these residents continue to participate in the program.
Unless the town amends its ordinances to match the countyâ€™s, landowners wonâ€™t be able to participate in the farmland preservation program, Melichar said.
At issue is the townâ€™s conservation subdivision ordinance, Melichar said.
The townâ€™s zoning ordinances include a formula allowing development on a sliding scale, with a minimum lot size of 3-1/2 acres, he said.
â€śWe spent three to five years developing our formula,â€ť Melichar said. â€śWe put a lot of thought and effort into determining whatâ€™s best for the landowners in our town.â€ť
No one has used the conservation subdivision ordinance yet, Melichar said, noting it took effect just as the housing market slowed.
The county and stateâ€™s new farmland preservation rules allow development on one acre of land for every 20 acres thatâ€™s preserved, he said.
The town must make a decision on the land use plan by the end of the year.
â€śWeâ€™ll see what the response is at the meeting Monday and go from there,â€ť Melichar said.
The Town Board is also poised to award contracts for ditch mowing, the replacement of three culverts and surface paving on Willow Road â€” highway items that in other years would have been handled through the Ozaukee County Highway
Department, Melichar said.
Contractors have until Monday to submit bids for the work.
â€śFrom what Iâ€™ve heard, there are quite a few private contractors interested in the work,â€ť Melichar said. â€śIâ€™ve heard that private contractors are bidding at the break-even point just so they have work. Weâ€™ll see what happens.â€ť
The town sought a cost estimate from the county for the work, he said.
â€śIt went up quite a bit from last year,â€ť Melichar said. â€śI thought it was a good time to look at it (private bids).â€ť
By seeking bids, he and the Town Board are fulfilling an election promise to seek competitive bidding on highway work, he noted.