Next step in Hunters Grove debacle discussed

by Abby Lynn Harvey of The Review staff

WALDO – The village’s ongoing issues with the non-compliance of the developer of the Hunters Grove Subdivision has come to a head.

Village President Dan Schneider reported to the Village Board Monday evening that legal action may have to be taken against developer Bill Haas, who has failed to meet his end of a developer’s agreement with the village.

“When the developer’s agreement was extended, one of the stipulations was that the letter of credit be extended,” Schneider explained. “We okayed the developer’s extension but he never followed through on extending the letter of credit so the developer’s agreement extension is null and void.”

Trustee Micheal Hintz questioned who was at fault for the current situation. Schneider stated that he did not believe anyone was at fault, because the agreement was signed under that stipulation that the letter of credit also be extended.

“The letter of credit has not been renewed,” Schneider reported. “Mr. (Village Attorney John) St. Peter’s recommendation is we hold him in default and we start that process.”

Schneider expressed hesitation at this course of action.

“My personal opinion right now is I wouldn’t want to do that to somebody right before Christmas,” He said. “I wouldn’t want them to receive that letter that they’re in default right before Christmas. I just couldn’t feel good about that. If we want to do it I would recommend we hold off until sometime after the holidays if we want to go down that road.”

This was not the only reason for Schneider’s hesitation, as he questioned the effectiveness of the action as well.

“In my opinion we have very little leverage,” he said. “We can hold back the rights to anyone developing anything back there, anyone putting up houses, I don’t know what kind of leverage that is. In light of there hasn’t been any development back there, ever, holding them and saying there won’t be any development and that’s our leverage, that’s very little leverage.”

Schneider, and the board, expressed a preference for a different course of action.

“The other option that I see is trying to get a face-to-face meeting with him and understand where he stands and what his situation is,” Schneider said. “I would feel better about that personally. If we can’t get any resolution at that point then I would look at holding him in default, but I would want to talk to him face to face.”

Contact with Haas has been attempted several times without success. Schneider then went to the attorney who wrote the developers agreement between the village and Haas.

“I asked Mr. St. Peter to send a certified letter,” Schneider said. “Prior letters weren’t sent certified so some of them got sent back. One of them didn’t. I couldn’t ascertain wether he did get it or he didn’t get it, now we know he got it.”

Schneider will attempt to get a meeting with Haas and report back at the January meeting.

Further plans continue on the Depot Street bridge repair project.

“Of all the things that are going to go on in the village in the next year that is going to be the biggest driver of financially how well did we do? Because that’s by far the biggest expense so we really need to have our ducks in a row on that one,” Schneider stated.

Moving forward the village will seek a plan set, which will include all of the information needed to bid out the project.

“The hydraulic study is done to my knowledge, (the engineer) has specced out the type of culvert and what the flow capabilities are.” Schneider said. “At this point we do not have an actual plan set. Going forward, what we need to do is get a plan set developed.”

Also discussed was the replacement of Village Clerk – Treasurer John Port, who drafted his own resignation letter following the resignation of former Village President Lisa Hagenow.

Several applicants have come forward but currently, it was reported, only one is still in the running. One more round of job postings will be done to see if any other applicants come forward and a decision will be made early next year.

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