Unoccupied trailer, lot concerns Waldo residents

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

WALDO — Residents Lee Anne and Tom Gilson spoke at the Village Board meeting Monday night, expressing concerns over a property in the village with a trailer that’s been unoccupied for over a year.

Tom Gilson said the trailer’s owner “had passed away in December of 2016. The trailer’s been abandoned since that time, and since then has gone into foreclosure. There were no bids at the time of foreclosure. Recently, a real estate company had bought the property. Although they did some minimal cleanup, outside of the property, the property continues to be an eyesore.”

Gilson said he understood the trailer’s previous owner was granted a zoning variance to put it on that property, because the lot is very narrow. This led to a discussion between board members and Village Administrator Bruce Neerhof whether a home could be built on the small, .19-acre parcel. Without consulting the ordinance, no one could answer whether the lot met setback or other requirements necessary for constructing a home.

Trustee Chris Nadgwick speculated that the lot’s small size could be the reason a variance was originally granted, some years ago, for the trailer.

Gilson asked the board: When the trailer is sold and removed, could another trailer legally be placed on that lot?

“We oppose having another trailer to be placed there,” he told the board. Living next to the trailer lot, he and his wife had detected bad odors, and saw rodents and other pests around the trailer.

Gilson said he’d cut the lawn on that property to make it less unattractive, because no one else had done so.

“I notice it continues to deteriorate,” said Village President Gary Dekker.

Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Brecht said, after she looked into the matter, it was her understanding that the variance was valid so long as the trailer was there. Moving in another trailer would require the board to issue a new variance, which board members commented was unlikely.

Trustee Mark Spitz said, “I would think one of our first steps would be to call the real estate company and find out what their intentions are. Maybe we can work with them to get the trailer off of there.”

The board voted unanimously that Neerhof investigate the village’s options, which could include contacting the village attorney and the real estate company.

Other village business

Neerhof shared a letter from Ayres Associates, which stated they will conduct an inspection of the Waldo dam for $2,000. The inspection is required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The board unanimously approved the expenditure.

Neerhof reported working on 2019 projects for the village, which include work on the Village Hall to make it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, and a chimney and electrical upgrade for the park shelter.

The board remarked on the parking situation during a recent brat fry. Cars were parked illegally (in front of fire hydrants and in marked no-parking areas) and on both sides of the streets, making passage difficult.

Brecht said Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, has requested a town hall meeting at Waldo on Tuesday, March 27, from 1 to 2 p.m. “He’s never come here before,” Brecht said, adding that his office will issue a formal press release.

The board unanimously approved:

• One operator’s license.

• Two requests to rent village facilities.

Police report for the past month: Three citations totaling $473.60 (operating a motorcycle without a license; unreasonable and imprudent speed; two no proof of insurance; two parking citations); eight warnings; four complaints investigated (several for winter parking; ordinance violation; property check for resident on vacation); 20 property checks; no arrests made, traffic accidents investigated, court appearances, or warrants.


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