Attorney: Adell not responsible for damage claims by residents

‘Bees’ wings’ issue between residents, firms, attorney advises board
by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — The village has been advised by its attorney that the village should not assume responsibility for complaints made by residents about dust coming from local businesses.

Several residents spoke at the November Village Board meeting, describing damage they said resulted from two sources: “bees’ wings” particles from drying corn by the Adell Co-op and/ or Great Lakes Agri Services and dust from Milk Specialties Corp.

In the past month, village officials consulted with their attorney and received an e-mail letter from James R. Danaher, of Schloemer Law Firm in West Bend.

At the board’s Wednesday night meeting, Village President Andrew Schmitt summarized: “It’s in [the attorney’s] opinion that the village should not take responsibility for any claims” that residents have against businesses. “It’s pretty much between the individual and the company.”

Clerk/Treasurer Kelly Rathke said it was the Adell Co-op’s intent to “supply a building for Adell Auto Body to store their freshly-painted cars.”

Tim J. Deckert, owner of that business, had shown the board at the November meeting that bees’ wings embed themselves in the drying paint, ruining the paint job and causing several thousand dollars in damage.

Trustee Leighton Holtz said the co-op providing a building would help that business, but it doesn’t address other complaints the board heard the month before.

Schmitt said there is nothing wrong with residents bringing their complaints to the village.

As Danaher’s letter stated, “Certainly, the village can become involved by making inspections and determining the level of emission...”

And: “That doesn’t mean that the village cannot or should not do something to address these complaints. The village has an obligation to enforce its ordinances. In the event a resident (whether it be an individual or a business) is violating village ordinances, the village absolutely should step in and enforce the ordinance in question. Likewise, if businesses are operating under a special or conditional use permit, the village should mandate compliance with the requirements of such a permit.”

“This is the key,” Schmitt said. “The village should not be involved in managing, handling or pursuing any claims that residents might have against the emitting business.”

The village’s role, Schmitt said, was monitoring the conditional use permits (CUPs) issued to businesses by the village. Schmitt said CUPs are reviewed annually, a process which will start early this coming new year.

Schmitt summed up his understanding of the attorney’s letter: “We’ll register it. We’ll monitor it,” said Schmitt. “But if you have property damage, that you believe is caused by the process of their business, you have to go to them directly, and we cannot become involved in that civil dispute.”

Residents wishing to see a copy of Danaher’s letter to the village can contact the village clerk.

Other village business

The evening started, as it has the past few months for village business, with a Plan Commission meeting.

Kevin Struck, growth management educator at the Sheboygan County University of Wisconsin- Extension office, is helping update the village’s comprehensive plan.

He projected a land-use map color-coded according to zoning. For half an hour, Struck received input from commission members, and the map was updated or corrected.

The board unanimously approved:

• $50 gift cards for village employees.

• A resolution amending the village ordinance, to clarify that hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow is not allowed within 100 yards of another property owner’s residence (unless permission is granted); and that hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow is only permitted from an elevated position, so that arrows or bolts are discharged toward the ground.

• Appointment of poll workers for 2018 to 2019: Julie Vale, Betty Payne, Leona Neumann, Audrey Borkenhagen, Carol Navis, Kathleen Nytes, Milda Zuengler, Bernice Grisar, Emily Neumann, and Shari McVeigh.

• Relieving street parking restrictions and penalties from Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, if there is no snow on those dates.

Schmitt said Adell and Hingham have received a principal forgiveness of 15 per cent on the Clean Water Fund loan the two communities submitted separately. That means the $2,343,980 loan will be reduced by $351,597.

Director of Public Works Shawn Bigelow reported installation of a temporary culvert on Wisconsin Street.

Police report for the past month: One citation (speeding, 50 m.p.h. in a 35-m.p.h. zone, $175.30); one warning; two complaints investigated (civil dispute, overnight parking enforcement); 17 property checks; no arrests made, traffic accidents investigated, court appearances, or warrants.

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