The Medford Plan Commission met Monday, February 4th. The public hearing regarding the rezoning of land at 721 South 8th Street which had been requested by Jon Ruesch was postponed to a future date. The request is to change the zoning from R-1 residential to C-1 commercial. According to city documents Forward Financial Bank intends to purchase the property to build a new bank.
The commission discussed selling a parcel of land in Medford’s Industrial Park to North Central Technical College. Preliminary plans indicate that Wausau developer Ghidorzi Companies would construct and own the new building and enter into a long term lease agreement with North Central Technical College. The property being sold for the school is located across the road to the west of Marathon Cheese. Plan Commissioners voted 5 in favor, 1 against and 1 abstain. Commissioner Dave Zimmerman voted against the proposed sale indicating his displeasure with locating an educational facility in the industrial park.
The city council will vote on the issue at their meeting February 5th.
The final order of business had to do with a flood plain map involving all landowners located “down stream” from the WeatherShield dam.
When the dam was installed it was compliant with all state rules. Medford Mayor Mike Wellner told the assembled landowners that since that time, the rules regarding flood plains have changed. If the city doesn’t adopt their own flood plain map, the D.N.R. has told city officials that the DNR would adopt their own map and subsequently bill city taxpayers for the DNR’s time. Property owners expressed their displeasure with the prospect of owning land which will now be located in a flood plain. When asked about flood insurance, commissioner Dave Clark indicated that homeowners in the area would need to purchase flood insurance to cover any remaining amount of their home loan. Property owner Don Cannon asked if he would be able to construct a building on vacant land which would now be in the flood plain. Bob Christianson replied “Probably not”. Property owners asked if their property tax would be going down since they would now be located in a flood plain. They were told that 3 parcels in the mapped area would need to be sold before it could be determined whether the value of property in the flood plain increased, decreased, or stayed the same. The measure to recommend that city council adopt the Weather Shield Dam non-existent flood plain map passed by a 6 yes 1 no vote.