City of Wautoma Planning Commission approves zoning change for Old Glory Veterans Village


Following a Planning Commission’s public hear-ing on Monday, Sept. 9, commission members voted four to two to approve the zoning change from RS-8 to RS-M for the property at 327 S. Waupaca Street, which formerly was a nursing home. The owners of the property, John and Dawn Sabel, are planning to develop the property into a residence for veterans, calling it Old Glory Veterans Village. The zoning change will allow 31 units to be developed. The Planning Commission approval is a recommendation to the council; the council will vote on the matter at their Monday, Oct. 14 meeting.

Several people from the South Waupaca Street neighborhood had questions during the hearing, including questions about the condition of various elements of the building, such as when the elevator and the sprinkler system were last inspected.

Local architect Mark Schmidt responded that all of the building components would be inspected during renovation and would have to meet state standards.


There were other concerns expressed during the meeting, including safety of neighborhood children, source of funding, the need for such a facility, and whether Waushara CountyHuman Services could provide services to the additional population.

Schmidt provided building plans for those in attendance to review, but Dawn Sabel said that their business plan is not yet fully developed because they needed to have the zone change approved prior to applying for grants and other monetary sources for the project.

City Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Tommy Bohler reminded the commission members that the zone change has to do with the land, whether the land can sustain 31 units and whether the city can provide services for 31 additional units.

Bohler also explained that after the October council meeting, (should the zoning change be approved), the Sabels would have to apply for a conditional use permit for a PUD (Planned Unit Development) zone change in order to construct further lodging accommodations at the facility.

According to Schmidt during the Aug. 19 public hearing, the facility could provide up to 64 units. To move forward, the Planning Commission would need to approve that request and make a recommendation to the council, who would vote during their regular November council meeting.

The Common Council held its regular September meeting, following the public hearing.

Auditor Jackie Nielsen, from KerberRose Public Accounting Firm, attended the council meeting, summarizing the 2018 audit she conducted for the city earlier this year. She told the council that the audit “went very well,” and confirmed that the city is in a good financial position. There was a brief discussion about the water utility rate of return, which is at 3 percent, a little lower than the recommended 5 percent rate. Bohler told the council that he is tracking that closely to make sure the city doesn’t get so low that they have to increase the rate by a large number all at one time.

  MSA Professionals Project Engineer Chad Grundemann attended the meeting to give an update on road projects, including West River Street, Green Meadow-Valley View-Sandcrest Streets, the alley between Main and Ste. Marie Streets, city hall pavement replacement/drainage im-provements, South Water Street drainage improvements, and Wautoma Storm Sewer & Water GIS.

In other business, the council approved:

•Ordinance #2019-02 to amend section 22-24 of the code of ordinances regarding penalties for false alarms. When businesses who have false alarms refuse to pay penalties, this amendment allows the city to put the penalty fees on the business’s tax roll, per Wisconsin Stats. The penalties for false alarms begin with a written warning, then $25 for the next time, then $40 and then $75.

•Ordinance #2019-03 to amend sections 60-144 through 60-155 of the code of ordinances regarding commercial cross-connection inspections per DNR regulations.

•Ordinance #2019-04 to amend section 50-54 of the code of ordinances regarding the sidewalk replacement program. The former ordinance states that city residents will pay 70 percent of the cost of a sidewalk replacement in front of their property, with the city paying 30 percent. The amendment changes the ratio to 50 percent-50 percent.

•Awarding the City Hall Parking Lot project and the Water Street Drainage Improvement project to R & R Wash Materials, Inc.

•Per the Finance Com-mittee, the city responsibility and funding of commercial cross-connections, per the DNR regulations. The city will subsidize one-half of the first round for businesses.

•An operator’s license for Brett D. Russell (OM Wautoma Oil).

•A picnic license for Jailbreak Marathon at Waushara Co. Fairgrounds on Sept. 28.


  The next regular Common Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.