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MADISON — The Madison County Board of Commissioners heard Monday from a citizen who recommended that a zoning law he voted for be changed.

Larry Sinclair of Meadow Grove told the board that By-law 703, which states that a building permit will expire if the work is not completed within a year, needs to be made more flexible or “abandoned altogether because that’s something that doesn’t work the best”. In a rural area. »

Sinclair shared her story of trying to get a house built near Meadow Grove after getting a permit and paying the required area fee of $357 in October 2020. Because the house wasn’t finished a year later, he was asked to pay the square footage fee when he applied for another permit.

“It’s onerous and unenforceable regulation,” Sinclair said, adding “it’s really unfair to pay twice.”

He said not being able to do much construction during the winter months that first year was a factor. Then came the pandemic, which created supply chain problems and drove up the prices of building materials.

Sinclair was given a 90-day extension to complete the work, which is allowed by zoning regulations if construction appears to be nearing completion or there are difficulties.

“That’s kind of the situation we found ourselves in,” Sinclair said. “I’m not looking for excuses, but I’m just telling you the reality of the situation. What I didn’t expect was for the zoning and planning department to be so rigid about their regulations.

Sinclair admitted to being part of the Madison County Joint Planning Commission when this bylaw was put in place. At that time, he said, adding the square foot fee made the permitting process fairer than a flat permit fee.

Sinclair said he did not want to take his recommendation to the commissioners because the proper venue would have been the planning commission. “But I struggled to fit into that agenda, and so I’m here today to have my say,” he said.

Commissioner Troy Uhlir, noting he was playing devil’s advocate, said: “I’m not saying I disagree with you, but you were okay with this all those years up until how it affects you.”

“It’s not just me meeting him,” Sinclair replied. “There have been a lot of guys who have run into 703 and they just pay twice because then the problem goes away.”

Sinclair said he was trying to get a new house on the tax rolls, noting the house was ‘tight’ and he likely needed another six months for detail work before it was due. completed.

Commissioner Ron Schmidt told Sinclair that if the house is not on the tax rolls, then he saved money by not paying those taxes.

“I understand where you’re coming from. I would say maybe it needs to be changed, but I won’t change it so you don’t have to pay for it,” Schmidt said.

Council agreed to take the matter under advisement. Uhlir said if the settlement is really a problem, then it needs to be fixed.

Also on Tuesday, the board met briefly with attorney Jason Doelle and his clients, Rodney and Yvonne Julsen, regarding a bridge the Julsens want to build on their property, at 1741 340th Ave., Newman Grove.

The county worked with the couple on the possibility of replacing a bridge over Shell Creek. It is, according to the Julsens, the best access to their property. They asked to be on Tuesday’s agenda to find out what has been done regarding plans to replace the bridge.

In early 1940, two bridges existed on the road dividing Madison and Boone counties before the counties agreed to change the creek channel and use a single bridge. A contract from that time requires Madison County to maintain the bridge even though it is in Boone County.

Over the years the bridge has been replaced and repaired, but is now closed after being deemed unsafe. The county put up a temporary road with three culverts underneath, but even as dry as it was this summer, the culverts were clogged with corn stalks coming down the creek after rain.

County Attorney Joe Smith asked the council to go into executive session due to possible litigation.

After reconvening in open session, Uhlir said the council was not ready to commit to anything, but the issue would be back on the agenda for the commissioners’ meeting. Tuesday, December 20.

Uhlir said that would give the county more time to address some design questions and better manage costs.

The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Monday afternoon.

Members present: President Troy Uhlir, Ron Schmidt and Eric Stinson.

Others Present: Anne Pruss, County Clerk; Richard Johnson, superintendent of county highways; Joe Smith, county attorney; 10 citizens; a media representative.

The meeting lasted 1h20.

– Approved an amendment to the 2022 County Employee Policy and Procedures Manual to include clarification on pay time.

–Appointed Nancy Scheer to the Madison County Board of Adjustment for a three-year term beginning Monday, Nov. 21.

– Appointed Shannon Brown to the Madison County Planning Commission for a three-year term beginning Monday, Nov. 21.

— Awarding of a $58,118.30 contract to the lowest bidder, Stealth Broadband of Norfolk, for the new telephone system and county service contract.

— Approved a contract with TMS International for road snow removal northeast of Norfolk.

— Approved the purchase of 1994 and 1996 Freightliner trucks for $30,000 each from Joe Sackville.

– Authorized the Chairman of the County Council to sign an agreement with NACO for county membership in 2023.

– Approved a survey corner preservation agreement with the Nebraska Department of Transportation for five years to commit the county to complete the work in a timely manner.

— Review and processing of complaints and review of written reports, including:

— Notice of Public Hearing by the City of Norfolk to Receive Comments Regarding Wisner West Inc.’s Redevelopment Plan.

– A letter from the Nebraska State Prison Standards Division advising that the annual prison inspection for Nebraska prison standards will be held on Tuesday, November 29.

– Heard by Jordan Suarez, with Zelle Human Resource Solutions, about progress on employee total compensation statements for Madison County employees. Statements will show what employees have earned so far this year, including salary and benefits. She said job descriptions for departments were also being developed.