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June 19, 2021

5/19/2021 9:33:00 AM
Steen closes out 14 years of service, community center named

When Village President John Steen closed the April 13 meeting of the Ridgeway Board of Trustees it was a history making moment.
For both the village and Steen it was the end of an era---14 years with Steen as president. Fourteen years that saw many improvements and along with it some events that the village came together to fight, weather or both.
The latest was the closing of the Ridgeway Elementary School during the COVID 19 pandemic which limited the village's ability to work out an arrangement with the Dodgeville School District that they hoped would have prolonged its existence.
But when that didn't happen Steen and the village did the next best thing. They bought the school building which is rich in local history and are in the process of turning it into the Ridgeway Community Center. The board voted that as the official name at Steen's final meeting.
In other matters concerning the building:
-The streets, sidewalk and parks committee will meet with Strang Engineering to help determine the next steps of the project and the anticipated costs.
-Determined the maintenance and cleaning of the building will be handled by the present village staff.
-Agreed that the classroom formerly housing the kindergarten classes will be utilized as a senior center and no cost. The room number is 112.
-Heard that the open house for the Ridgeway Volunteer Library will be May 2.
A short public hearing was held during the meeting to provide input on updating the village's zoning map. A resident who built a home in Phase 1 of the Cardinal Way sub-division voiced displeasure, citing difficulties with realtors and contractors. Steen asked her to put her complaints in writing and the board will investigate. The hearing took about 15 minutes and there was no opposition to the proposed zoning map.
After the hearing was adjourned the board voted to approve the proposed zoning map.
A public informational meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 11 prior to the next board meeting to discuss the street, water and sewer line project.
Mark Doyle of Delta 3 Engineers told the board the bids for the CDBG street improvement projects will be ready to go May 6. The board approved the specs that will be used in the bidding process.
The board voted to delay the improvements scheduled for the baseball field and park as construction in that area will make travel and machinery movement difficult. The project will be delayed a year with the hope TID money will become available to help with funding.
Skyrocketing construction costs have affected the subdivision substantially with material availability becoming very difficult to predict. Anne Larson of True Blue Realty said three lots have been sold in Phase 2 to date and there are 10 lots remaining in both phases to be sold.
The board discussed adjusting the cost of the lots but decided to study the market data and visit area communities to see what their lots are selling for. The Plan Commission will meet soon and go over the data to bring back to the board.
In a related matter the board voted to take $80,560.67 from excess funds to pay off the TID Phase 1 loan for the subdivision.
Village Marshall Michael Gorham asked for space to park the village squad car which would need to be heated and secure to protect the medical and technical equipment in the vehicle.
Village department heads went though the present storage units and the board learned there is no space available. The board will see what can be done to accommodate the storage needs for the vehicle.
Also discussed was the "Green Shed" which is used for storage but does not blend in well with the surroundings. The board will look at landscape options to upgrade the appearance.
-The board passed on a request by Tower Point to lease space on towers in the village for 99 years.
-The board approved updates to the village's Comprehensive Plan. A public hearing on the plan had been held April 7. Changes are the result of work done by the Plan Commission over the past several month.
-Approved proclaiming May as Fair Housing Month.
-Will repost for the deputy clerk position as it has not yet been filled.
-Spent some time thanking Steen for his monumental service and heard his reply which complimented the board on their Service.
Michelle Casper was elected at the spring election to serve as village President when Steen declined to run.

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