MOUNT PLEASANT — The village now officially has the final say on all new construction on Foxconn Technology Group land.
That means the village’s authority applies to Foxconn officials as well as to the homeowners who are still on the land where the Foxconn Technology campus is planned.
On Tuesday, the Village Board voted 6-1 in favor of the resolution regarding the redevelopment authority for the Foxconn area in the southwest corner of the village. Trustee Gary Feest was the only board member to vote “no.”
Alan Marcuvitz, the attorney working with the village on Foxconn, said the approval “is a non-discretionary housekeeping matter required by statute.”
Marcuvitz quoted Wisconsin State Statute 66.1333 (6) (e), which reads, in part, that “the local legislative body shall upon the certification of the plan by the authority direct that no new construction be permitted. After this direction, no new construction may be authorized by any agencies, boards or commissions of the city in the area unless authorized by the local legislative body, including substantial remodeling or conversion or rebuilding, enlargement, or extension or major structural improvements on existing buildings, but not including ordinary maintenance or remodeling or changes necessary to continue the occupancy.”
Marcuvitz said future construction projects planned for the area, including those proposed by Foxconn, would have to come to the Village Board and Community Development Authority for approval before construction can begin.
“That would apply to Foxconn, that would apply to the American Transmission Company, which is planning to build a substation in that area,” Marcuvitz said.
The statute also would apply to homeowners still in the area.
Feest said there are some homes in the area that, in his opinion, could be able to stay on the property if they chose to do so, but he is concerned for those homeowners who might wish to upgrade their homes.
“What we’re theoretically saying is normal Joe Blow, who owns a house, can just go through the proper procedures (to obtain a building permit), but because you’re in an area that we’ve designated (a blighted area) you can’t do anything unless the Village Board OKs it,” Feest said.
For example, in the past, a homeowner might build a garage by just obtaining a building permit from the village, depending on building size and required setbacks, etc. Or maybe they would just need a green light from the Plan Commission for their project, but not that of the Village Board.
Marcuvitz said that Feest summarized the resolution appropriately and added the resolution does not completely prohibit improvements from taking place.
“It doesn’t make it impossible or more difficult for anyone to do anything whether it’s a home, whether it’s a business or farm or anything else,” Marcuvitz said. “There are no exceptions to it. As I said before, the statute makes it mandatory. This is not a discretionary call.”
CALEDONIA — Aspiring Robins Hoods and Katniss Everdeens, the heroine from “Hunger Games,” may get to practice at a new outdoor archery range.
The Shooters’ Sports Center, 4900 Six Mile Road, owner Bernard Kupper went before the Caledonia Plan Commission on Monday to present his plan to open Root River Archery. The site would sell archery products and include an indoor and outdoor range at 4820 Six Mile Road, formerly Nielson Building Systems, which is next door to Shooters.
Shooters’ General Manager Mike Arts said they’ve seen a lot of growth in their archery department, whether it’s kids wanting to emulate their literary heroes or hunters wanting to extend their hunting season by training in both rifle and bow hunting.
“What we’ve found is there is a demand and a need for us to expand our archery business,” said Arts.
Shooters’ lead archery instructor, Joel Minneti, told the commission Monday the archery side of the business has grown by more than 65 percent. But they’re limited in their ability to grow by sales space at their current archery range, which only has space for four students at a time.
“We want to provide a destination,” said Minetti. “We want to get (children) active and doing something fun.”
Minetti laid out the expansion in phases.
The first phase would be to construct the outdoor range. The firing line would be just north of the parking lot and archers would shoot north at stationary targets. A safety buffer of 225 feet sits between the targets to the northern boundary of the property, double the distance required.
The second phase would be to remodel the existing Nielson building and parking lot. All archery equipment sales would be transferred to the new building and a shorter youth range would be installed. The building’s parking lot would also be renovated include an additional 30 stalls.
The final phase would be to build an all-season indoor 40-yard range.
Arts said with the expansion, they would be able to do more creative archery events, such as 3-D archery in which people aim at mock animals, or archery painting, as they’re planning on having at Archery Palooza next month, in which kids create masterpieces by shooting paint-filled balloons.
They would also like to host tournaments, bringing people young and old, near and far to Caledonia.
Kupper said the outdoor facility would not include any lighting, so its hours would be restricted by daylight. The indoor facilities would hold hours similar to Shooters’.
Shooters employs six archery instructors and plans to add a seventh in the near future. Arts said the expansion may require an additional two to four people.
The Plan Commission voted to forward Shooters’ zoning application and conditional-use permit to the Village Board with a recommendation for approval. The board could review the proposal as soon as the next board meeting on Monday, July 2.
DOVER — Town Chairman Mario Lena will officially face a recall election in July after a recall petition was turned in earlier this month, and he already has a hopeful opponent: Town Supervisor Sam Stratton.
Former Town Chairman Tom Lembcke turned in the petition, which had a total of 436 valid signatures, after a June 11 Town Board meeting. The required amount of signatures to trigger a recall election is 411. Lena has been publicly asked to resign, both by Stratton and town residents, but has repeatedly refused to do so.
The election is set for July 31. Any candidates seeking to challenge Lena for the spot must formally file with signatures from 20 or more town residents by 5 p.m. July 3. A declaration of candidacy form is available at townofdoverwi.com/forms-permits.
The winner of the recall election will serve through April 2019.
Stratton, who is in his third term as a town supervisor, said on Monday that he will be running against Lena. He said he plans to pick up the filing papers Tuesday and start collecting signatures from there.
“I don’t think Mario is a bad guy,” Stratton said. “I do believe he has the good of the town in mind. I’m just not sure he knows how to go about getting things accomplished that way.”
But Stratton said he plans on running his campaign on his own merits, not by tearing Lena down. Stratton highlighted his experience as a town supervisor and past leadership experience including as a police officer and staff sergeant in Iraq.
Lembcke said earlier this month that he was considering running, depending on whether other candidates launch campaigns. He could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
Lena could not be reached for comment Monday evening, but he told The Journal Times on June 11 that he was confident he would keep his seat.
Lena, who runs a Kansasville automotive repair business, unseated Lembcke in the 2017 town election by a margin of just nine votes and has been embroiled in controversy since taking office.
At an October Town Board meeting, Lena was censured — or publicly reprimanded — by town supervisors Stratton and Mike Shenkenberg for allegedly acting in an unprofessional and vulgar manner, driving town vehicles against town policy and attempting to delay a town vehicle repair by giving false financial information.
During an April Town Board meeting, Stratton asked Lena to resign, and later told The Journal Times a resignation would be “for the good of the town.”
Lena has also taken out advertisements in the Wisconsin Hi-Liter, a local weekly advertising publication, alleging that Lembcke abused his power as town chairman. Lena also reportedly accused past chairmen of corruption, but did not mention any by name. He issued a public apology retracting past statements during the June 11 meeting to avoid a defamation lawsuit from Lembcke.
RACINE — The Racine Police Department is investigating two potentially linked incidents that ended with the death of a Racine man.
At 3:20 a.m. Monday, police responded to the intersection of Blake and Albert streets for a report of gunshots. Police located a crime scene in the 1700 block of Albert Street.
A short time later, a call was received for a vehicle-versus-electrical-pole accident at Spring Street and Freres Avenue. It was discovered that the driver was suffering from a gunshot wound. The operator, a 31-year-old man, later died from his injuries.
Whether the incidents are connected is being investigated by police. Police say no other information is being released.
Racine Police investigators are interested in additional information anyone may have about this crime. Any witnesses, or citizens with information, are urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756.
Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330, or text 274637 (CRIMES). Text message should begin with RACS.
If Monday’s incidents are connected, it would be similar to an incident in March on Arlington Avenue.
At 10:36 p.m. on March 18, Racine police responded to the 2300 block of Arlington Avenue for a report of shots fired. Police also received calls about a possible accident involving a minivan that had struck a tree.
A Dodge Caravan was located in the yard at 2328 Arlington Ave. The operator of the Caravan, Tremayne Antone Brown, 40, was found inside and unresponsive. Michael R. Lyons Jr., 34, and Cedric A. Gray, 32, are both facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide in connection to that case.