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Village Board gets updates on properties and building projects

The Ellsworth Village Board received updates on the status of building projects, vacant homes and other properties within the village at its monthly meeting Monday evening in the Village Hall.

Much of the interior work of the bungalow portion of the new Pierce County Historical Center at the old Lawrence Studio at 423 W. Main St. has been completed according to John Norquist of the Pierce County Historial Association. The Association has moved its offices into the building, air conditioning has been installed, the plumbing has been redone and window replacements are currently being worked on.  The village had expressed concern about the lack of progress on the outside of the building, particularly a trailer in back which stores material from the old Lawrence Studio and is reportedly sinking into the ground. Norquist said a lack of funding has hindered that progress along with searching for a new architect for the project. The building permit for the project has expried and will need to be renewed. Village officials also hope the trailer can be removed from the site soon.

There were a few vacant homes in the village due to foreclosure which the vilage has received attention on due to complaints from neighbors. One in particular on 364 W. Warner St., had a sinkhole in its hard due to a rusted out and collapsed culvert. The public works department put up a barricade around the sinkhole but neighbors are still concerned about danger to children. The board directed PWD Director Greg Engeset to fix the sinkhole as soon as possible while the village deals with BMO Harris Bank, which now owns the property, to make sure the home is kept up to code. 

Another property on 137 W. Maple had received complaints about junk, garbage and an uncut lawn but through work with the police dpartments has been cleaned up.

In Village Clerk Peggy Nelson's report to the board, she says the opening for the new Shopko Hometown store is tenatively been set for Nov. 4.

The Plan Commission approved a variance for the Patricia Ann Place and D. Charles Schamm home on 467 W. Spruce St. The variance will allow for the construction of a four-seasons porch/dialysis room which is only a 17-foot rear yeard setback instead of the 50-foot requirement.