The Fort Atkinson City Council on Tuesday advanced to a second reading adoption of both a new draft zoning ordinance and zoning map for the city.

Council members took that action while meeting remotely via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Upon approval, the new zoning code and map would take effect Nov. 1 and in concurrence with the Plan Commission’s recommendation.

According to City Zoning Administrator Brian Juarez, VandeWalle & Associates was retained by the city in 2019 to act as consultants to rewrite the city’s zoning code in its entirety.

“This process was undertaken for a couple of reasons,” Juarez explained. “One was that the current code was becoming obsolete and outdated after a nearly 50-year service life, and second the code needed to relate to and correspond with the newly adopted city comprehensive plan.”

The zoning administrator said the city has hosted four public meetings as an opportunity for residents and property owners to ask questions and provide comments regarding the proposed new citywide zoning ordinance and zoning map.

On Sept. 8, he said, the Plan Commission recommended that the city council approve the newly written zoning code and the newly drawn zoning map for the city.

“A public hearing was held at this meeting for the purpose of hearing citizen comments on the proposed zoning changes, and all amendments to the code and map were discussed and voted on individually,” Juarez said. “Letters were sent to all (413) property owners whose zoning was changing through downzoning, and all owners have had the opportunity to address these issues and request their zoning be changed if they so wished.”

During the past few months, he said, city staff continuously have been reviewing the draft ordinance and, as a result of that review, many minor changes have been reflected in the public hearing draft.

“A year-and-a-half later, after many public input sessions, joint informational sessions, work group sessions and public hearings, the document is ready for adoption and use by the city,” Juarez said.

The city has developed and now is looking to adopt the updated zoning ordinance, he indicated, in an effort to protect property values, create an environment in which reinvestment is encouraged, establish clear development procedures, and match regulations to the city’s existing and/or desired future land use pattern.

Fire station contracts

Meanwhile also Tuesday, the council reviewed and approved several more contracts for the $5.5-million Fort Atkinson Fire Department fire station construction and expansion that still were being vetted when the original contracts were approved.

The low-contract bids are as follows: $88,000, awarded to Keller Inc., Sun Prairie, for demolition in the existing building apparatus bays; $20,000, to Keller Inc. for constructing and installing a hose lifting and racking system; $14,902.72, to Ignatek, Janesville, for security system equipment and installation; $8,646.41, to General Communications, Madison, to provide radio tower wiring and relocation; and $1,510, to United Electric, Clyman, for installing cabling and power supply for the security system.

Fire Chief Daryl Rausch said “the additional contracts presented are part of the initial overall project budget and do not represent any additional or unexpected costs.”

Competitive bids, he said, were solicited and are within the estimated range for each area of construction.

Specifically, Rausch explained that the contracts are for: demolition and removal of equipment in the existing apparatus bays, but does not include demolition of the existing administrative offices and dormitory area; constructing and installing a hose lifting and racking system which allows fire hose to be hoisted to the top of the new hose tower and placed onto drying racks at the top level of the tower.

Other contracts, he said, are for installing a building security system to provide several security cameras monitoring the lobby and public areas of the building, and door control keyboards and card readers on exterior doors; and radio tower wiring and relocation involving moving the radio tower coaxial and power wiring from the current dispatch center to the opposite side of the building and into the new dispatch center.

In a related move, the council reviewed and approved fire station construction project change orders totaling $102,166.04 for excavation, AT&T cable, telephones, fire alarms electrical, and gas service.

“During initial excavation of the station foundations, several issues were discovered including construction debris which was used as fill under the existing building; and an undocumented communication (400-strand) line and 600-amp electrical services lines encased in concrete, going to the police station, which were not built and located as the site plans showed,” Rausch explained.

The city, he said, has elected to employ a managed Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system.

“Phones are provided as part of the plan; however, due to the size and nature of the facility, additional phones in excess of those provided as part of the system are needed,” Rausch noted. “The change order represents these additional phones and needed programming.”

The state and We Energies, he said, made modifications to electrical requirements for the power, gas and solar system installations which required minor changes in the design.

“Because of these issues, change orders were requested for additional costs being incurred and deductions being made,” Rausch informed.

The fire chief said the additional costs can be funded by exercising a number of alternates which cut costs in some other areas and using a portion of the project contingency budget.

“However, these changes will not cause the overall project budget to exceed the $5.5 million previously approved by the council,” Rausch stated.

In other business, the council:

• Approved quotes for a centrifuge feed pump purchase and installation at the wastewater treatment utility at a budgeted total of $45,986.67. Funds for this purchase will come from the utility’s equipment replacement account, including an additional $10,986.67.

City staff recommended purchase of the replacement pump from Mulcahy/Shaw Water, of Cedarburg, for $20,206.67; purchase of the installation service from Sabel Mechanical, Fond du Lac, for $7,280; and the purchase of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and panel rework from Integrated Process Solutions Inc., Waunakee, for $18,500.

Wastewater Supervisor Paul Christensen told council members that the utility’s 2020 budget includes $35,000 for purchase of a replacement for centrifuge feed pump No. 3.

“The original pump was put into service in 1992 and has been in daily use,” Christensen said. “It has been rebuilt many times, and major components are near the end of useful service.”

The pumps are variable speed and adjusted to the necessary feed rate, he said, noting that the system never has worked properly.

• Approved having Municipal Well & Pump, Waupun, make additional repairs to well No. 4 at a not-to-exceed cost of $10,927. Water Utility Supervisor Tim Hayden said rehabilitation of well No. 4 is under way, and that all of the well’s components have been removed and inspected.

“Upon inspection, the stainless-steel components, such as the shaft and cone strainer, are pitted and corroded, and will need to be replaced,” Hayden indicated. “These components were not expected to need replacement, but this is not the case. The early corrosion is suspected to be caused by an inferior grade of stainless steel. This will be corrected in the new material.”

In the 2020 Capital Improvements Program, he said, $64,000 was approved for installation of variable frequency drives for the four booster pumps located at the water utility office.

“This item has been rescheduled for 2022,” Hayden said. “These funds will be used to cover the additional $10,927 needed for the replacement of the components that were not expected in the original quote for this project.”

• Approved additional funds of $4,500 to contract with SUEZ, Oconomowoc, to encase the pump and well motor lost at the bottom of well No. 3.

“During the process of removing the well motor, it broke away from column pipe and fell to the bottom of the well,” Hayden indicated. “The crew performing the work used a camera to verify that the motor was located 1,000 feet down at the bottom of the well shaft.

“They tried, without success, to pull the motor back to the surface,” he added. “Therefore, I reached out to Sophia Stevenson, our Department of Natural Resources representative, and was instructed that the motor must be encased in mechanical grout.”

This process has been completed, and the additional cost for labor and materials was $4,500.

In the 2020 Capital Improvements Program, the supervisor said, $64,000 was approved for variable frequency drives for the four booster pumps located at the water utility office.

“This item has been rescheduled for 2022,” Hayden said. “These funds will be used to cover the additional $4,500 needed for the encasement of the well motor.”

• Approved a preliminary certified survey map creating a 6.7-acre farm consolidation lot and lot combination at W7170 North Shore Road, with an existing house and farm buildings, southwest of a drainage ditch inside of a pine tree boundary area.

The lot would include a small floodplain field adjacent to the barn for a pasture or crop area cut off by the ditch and pines from the remaining agricultural land.

• Approved a request for a zero lot-line split on Talent Trail.

“This will create an instrument for two separate owners of the duplex, sharing a common wall,” City Engineer Andy Selle stated.

Separate (water) laterals are required for individual parcels, he said, noting that both laterals are located in the terrace and serve each parcel independently.

“The city currently does not require a separate sanitary lateral to serve each unit,” Selle said. “This duplex includes a single lateral shared outside the homes. The maintenance agreement specifically includes this structure with shared maintenance and replacement costs.”

• Approved a 2021 recycling grant application. Selle said the grant supplements the cost of both recycling and composting for the city.

“The estimated cost for this in 2021 is $216,480, an estimated wage increase of 1.5 percent over estimated 2020 costs,” Selle said. “The Wisconsin DNR provided $35,095 in grant funds for 2020. A similar amount is expected in 2021.”

• Approved operator licenses for 2020-22 to: Megan Haas, Mr. Brew’s; Joshua Marshall, Mr. Brew’s; Matthew Joseph, Lions Quick Mart; and Rachelle Merson, Jansen’s Hall.

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