Winsted City Council Minutes

City of Winsted

City Council Special Meeting

181 -1st Street North – Historic City Hall

July 10, 2007

3:30 p.m.

 

Present:                        Mayor Steve Stotko

                                    Council Member Tom Wiemiller

                                    Council Member Bonnie Quast

                                    Council Member Dave Mochinski

 

Absent:                                    Council Member Tom Ollig

 

Staff Present:                        Brent Mareck, City Administrator

                                    Raquel Kirchoff – Administrative Assistant

 

 

Mayor Stotko called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. 

 

Todd Colonna, owner of the building, gave a tour of the building to those in attendance and explained the work that has been completed.  He explained that the lower level is ready to rent and he has had several inquiries from prospective renters.  He also stated that he plans to use the second floor as his retirement home.

 

After the tour, Council members voiced their disappointment at what they saw and the following concerns:

 

  • The building should have been completed in the six (6) years that Colonna has been working on the building.  The Council asked Colonna how many days he had worked on the building this year.  Colonna responded ten (10) days.  The Council asked Colonna how long he intends to take to complete the second floor of the building.  Colonna stated five (5) years.  The Council found this unacceptable.  Colonna asked what the intentions of the City were and those in attendance responded to obtain a renter and complete the building.  Mareck stated that the City wished to come to an amicable resolution to finish the building with a Council approved timeline.

 

  • None of the council members present believe that the lower level is ready to rent.  The paint is peeling.  Colonna responded that the lower level is ready to rent and when the agreement is made with a renter, he will then install the flooring which is the only work left incomplete.  The Council asked how renters would feel with construction work being done to the second level of the building while they were renting.  Colonna stated that it should not be an issue.

 

  • Council members and those present at the meeting have been told by frustrated, prospective renters that Colonna did not appear to want to rent to them by not being available, not returning phone calls, not negotiating with them on rent based on the improvements they would pay for to the building, etc.  The Council stated that they were unsure of Colonna’s intentions when he is a landlord that lives in Florida.  How is he able to respond to inquiries or concerns while living in another state?  Colonna responded that he is available at all times on his cell phone and has people in Winsted that will respond to inquiries or concerns.  All he has to do is make a phone call to them.  He also stated that he has been hesitant toward prospective renters because they have not been the types of businesses he envisioned in his building or thought would stay in business.  He would like an antique shop, for example, to rent the space and has refused the idea of a pawn shop in the location.  He stated that $700 per month was his rent price but is willing to reduce that to obtain a renter.  Mareck responded that the rent is not the issue but that Colonna’s accessibility is, based on the attempts thus far that people have made to get timely response from Colonna.

 

Mary Wiemiller, 620 Shady Creek Drive, member of the Preservation Society, voiced her concerns and stated that she is disheartened by the progress made on the building.  She stated that an unoccupied building sends the impression that it is uninhabitable.  Hard work was done to get the building classified to a historical status and it is not progressing toward the finished building the City envisioned.  The community’s vision for the building would be a quaint coffee shop, upscale food service business, or something unique, especially with the new City Center and Lakefront Promenade coming and she feels that opportunity was missed for certain types of these businesses because the building is unfinished.  She has spoken with people that have looked into the building and voiced their disappointment to her about the look of the white paint versus a “finished wood, historical look.”   

 

Rob Beckfeld, City Building Inspector, reviewed the process of a building permit and the time lines that take effect to get work completed once a building permit is issued.

 

Quast motioned that Colonna must provide architectural plans for the completion of the building to Rob Beckfeld, City Building Inspector, within 30 days.  Mochinski seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

 

Wiemiller motioned to adjourn.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Raquel Kirchoff

Administrative Assistant


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