By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

Monday night’s meeting of the East Troy Village Board included several long, and sometimes heated, discussions on various agenda items.

“It was a long, long, long meeting,” Village Board President Randy Timms said Tuesday morning. “It was after 10 (p.m.) when I got home.”

Trustee Scott Seager, who is running for Village Board president in the April election, said heated discussions have become “kind of a norm for the meetings of late, unfortunately.”

One of the more difficult discussions was about agenda item that dealt with the village exercising it’s right of eminent domain, which allows a government entity to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.

At issue is a request to combine three parcels on Brooks Court into a single parcel so it can be sold, Village Administrator Eileen Suhm

said Tuesday morning.

There is a problem with ease-

ment for access to the properties. “The village can’t create land locked parcels and that’s what would happen if the properties were

to be combined,” Suhm said.

She said the village had been working with the property owners for “quite some time” trying to work out a solution, but the other homeowners on the road were refusing to lose a small portion of their properties for the necessary

easement.

The solution presented to the board Monday was for the village to exercise its right of eminent domain and take the necessary property for the easement, but in return, offer the homeowners land from the “unnamed road” that boarders their properties. The village would have to abandon the unnamed road to do this.

Seager said Tuesday, he was unhappy about how this was presented to the board. He said he understood a lot had been done “behind the scenes” but didn’t like how this was the first time the board was even hearing about the issue and that their only option was to pursue eminent domain.

“I think this is the first time the board has had this in front of us and just feels like it’s a difficult item to throw our hands in the air and say there’s nothing else for us to do,” Seager said.

He said he would rather have the board explore what it means for the village to exercise eminent domain and have more information about the costs and actions necessary for it to happen.

“I think there is a process with this and it cannot be decided in one meeting,” Seager said. “I think we have to go through the process as a board, and maybe in this procedure it doesn’t mean much in end result, but at least it shows the homeowner we’ ve done our due diligence before we proceed in such a drastic measure.

The board did vote 4-3 to move forward with the eminent domain process, with Trustees Ann Zess, Forty Renucci and Seager voting no, and Timms, Matt Johnson, Dusty Stanford and Fred Douglass voting yes.

Trustees asks for audience member to be removed

At one point, during the meeting, Stanford asked for Police Chief Alan Boyes to remove John Jacoby from the boardroom Monday night.

Timms said Tuesday, Jacoby was making “guttural sighs” and “flailing his arms about” and causing a bit of a disruption.

Timms said he didn’t remember exactly how he phased it, but “I just basically asked if he could behave himself so he could stay. He settled down after that.”

“I didn’t think it was justified,” Seager said. “Just because he snickered at some of the comments, I don’t feel there was any reason to have him removed. Randy (Timms) handled it in the correct manor.”

Jacoby, who is running for Village Board trustee in the April election, said in an email Tuesday he wasn’t going to be silenced at the meetings and that he “laughed out loud” at Stanford’s request.

“Dusty and Randy operate as a team,” Jacoby wrote. “Together, they allow some people to have a strong voice, and others to have none. I can handle him making faces and goading me, but I won’t allow him to speak on my behalf and misrepresent th facts in his favor.

“I’ve used the citizen participation portion of the Village Board meeting for three months to convey how unhappy I am with the logo on the water tower. I literally mention it every meeting. I don’t have the minutes, but Dusty said something to the effect of: ‘nobody’s mentioned to me that they don’t like the water tower, so I just don’t see the problem with it.’”

The board discussed the water tower logo and how it didn’t turn out quite like they envisioned, but voted not to repaint the tower because of the estimated $15,000 cost and the fact that the tower would need to be drained again to do it. Suhm said Tuesday.

The board also voted to reduce the liquidated damages assessed to V&T Painting for the project from the $33,750 approved on Dec. 19, to $9,000.

Suhm said the board members came to that number after a representative of V&T Painting spoke to the board Monday night about some of the problems the company encountered during the project that caused the delay in completion.

Of the $9,000, $6,500 is for the expansion joint that wasn’t installed, which was part of the contract and $2,500 was for lawn restoration.

 
 

2 Comments

  1. Dennis Sokolowski says:

    It’s stated that the village cannot combine to create a land lock so why is this even being talked about? Better not be thinking about putting up apartments or condo’s in a cul-de-sac!I bought my house on Brooks Ct for the cul-de-sac so my 2 & 3 year olds would have a safe safer street to ride a bike or play with friends and not worry about traffic.

  2. Jennifer Voight says:

    As one of the homeowners ‘refusing to lose a small portion of my property’ I would like to know anyone who would GIVE away their land to someone, a stranger, just because they ‘want’ it. I wanted this land too and I had to buy it. And small portion or not is irrelevant.

    As stated above ‘to expropriate property for public use’ is interesting because the only people using the land they want to forcibly seize from me is the couple trying to buy the vacant lots. I’m not sure how that could be justified as public use.

    And lastly, I wouldn’t be commenting here except this article (which was on Facebook) was the FIRST I heard of the request to use eminent domain to seize my land to give to someone else. Surprised is an understatment.

    As a resident of East Troy (and property tax payer) I can not express how disappointed I am that this idea is even being entertained.

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