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June 19, 2021

5/19/2021 9:47:00 AM
City of Dodgeville discusses West Fountain Street property
By Kasi Greenwood
At Tuesday night's Dodgeville City Council meeting, Mayor Todd Novak informed the council that Rich Knebel has accepted the city's offer of $60,000 to purchase his property at 105 West Fountain. The building has been vacant for several years and was one time home to Hennessey Motors, Dodgeville Tire Service & Rich's Automotive.
He said the city believes the property is contaminated because of very old underground tanks. Novak said the plan is to raze the building this year and apply for a Brownfield grant to take the tanks out and any contaminated soil. When complete the city will either market the property for development or possibly keep it for city use. It is estimated the property cleanup will not be completed until 2022.
Novak said the city is using economic development money for the purchase and with the Brownfield grant no city property tax money will be used on the project.
The City of Dodgeville has also been discussing possible ATV routes for about a year. In October, council members took action on an ordinance which established a route on the northern portion of Dodgeville. The potential route also designated the following city streets: Military Ridge Road, King Street, State Highway 23 between Military Ridge Road, King Street and Highway YZ.
The ordinance established a route through the northern portion of Dodgeville and designates the following City streets: Military Ridge Road, King Street, State Highway 23 between Military Ridge Road and King Street and County Highway YZ. Ashley Schwarzenstein, part of the ATV Club in southwest Wisconsin was at Tuesday night's council meeting.
It was determined that there was remaining signage needed for the city route. The County has signs on Highway 23 and County YZ, however King Street needs to have a sign. There are potential plans to add "no atv" signs on the roads that intersect the route.
Roads potentially added to the route include Bennett Road from E Leffler Street to YZ, Brennan Road from Highway 23 to the Town of Dodgeville Border, Brue Road from Lehner Road to the town border.
The city also discussed the town square. A request was made by the Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce, from May 28-September 7, to hold the event on the block of Merrimac Street that runs past the Red Room and Bob's Barbeque.
At the last council meeting, council tabled action so that Mayor Novak could receive more feedback from businesses in that area. Council members were concerned about the length of the street closure, and how it may impact businesses in that area.
Since the last meeting, city attorney Eileen Brownlee informed Novak that the City cannot legally shut a street down for that length of time for festival purposes. The only time a street can be shut down for that length of time is for infrastructure or construction purposes.
Novak also noted that he was appalled when he learned that some of the downtown business people were harassed after they expressed their concerns.
"I never lose my temper, but I won't tolerate the harassment of business owners for expressing their opinion," Novak informed council members.
Council members felt better having the event be two weeks instead of three months to avoid violating any public domain laws. Council members voted to have the event for two weeks and will come back to the next meeting for date decisions.
Council members also approved Outdoor Seating Requests from Class B License Holders, a Dodgeville Home Talent Application for a Temporary Class B License, a street use permit for the Dodgeville High School Parade taking place on May 30th, and the payment of monthly bills.

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