Tricounty News

City of South Haven

The preliminary 2014 levy was set for the City of South Haven at $111,483, a 2-percent increase instead of the 3-percent increase previously set. The 2014 general budget is $178,724. The final 2014 levy can be decreased but not increased.

Anual cost-of-living wage increases for both hourly and salaried employees were deferred until after the annual financial statement for 2013 is presented in February.

Kurt Hubbs, owner of 410 Oak Ave. building, attended the Dec. 3 council meeting. He lives in the upper west wing of the building and would like to rent out the upper east wing as an apartment. Building inspector Scott Qualle recommends that a certificate of occupancy for the rental unit be required. Last year, the building was not approved for an R2 zoning (two-family occupancy), but Qualle has no objection to the request if the unit passes inspection. Parking could be an issue. The council approved Hobbs’ request, and will allow a second apartment if all requirements are met.

Qualle also discussed the 510 South Street property where a lean-to addition to a detached garage was being put up without a permit. A stop-work order was issued to the property owner, and an imcomplete permit application was submitted. The owner is given a choice between tearing down what has been done so far or completing the permit application. Qualle stated that the building is not up to code. The council chose to enforce its codes, and gave Qualle the directive to enforce the codes; the owner has 30 days to submit the required information or face further legal action.

An estimate for roof repair to the Municipal Liquor Store was higher than expected, and the council will seek a second quote.

There were five rescue calls and three fire calls in November. One firefighter will retire soon, and the department is looking for new applicants. Bids were received and opened for a new pumper truck from Heiman Fire Equipment of Lyons, S.D., for $284,962, and Custom Fire Apparatus Inc. of Osceola, Wisc., for $302,804. The council approved the second bid (which includes a cast-iron pump and lettering, as the other bid did not include them).

Three residential properties were certified for delinquent utilities collection (on their property taxes). Tax-forfeited commercial properties cannot be certified because there is no owner from whom to collect.

In other business: the food and beverage license for the Municipal Liquor Store was renewed for 2014. Another complaint about trains idling on tracks in town for long periods of time was referred to the railroad. A water hydrant with an underground leak has been repaired. The water tower was inspected and no issues were found.

The next meeting of the South Haven City Council will be at
7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.