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City gives green light to Edgewood Estates development plan

Lots in a proposed Edgewood Estates residential development in the city’s northeast corner will be accessed by driveways rather than fully urbanized roads.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Alderman Clem Johnson questioned if the roadway in the proposed development would be a regular city street, noting it was drawn that way on the plat map.

City Coordinator Joe Harris replied that, at least initially, the lots would be accessed through driveways from Impala Drive and from Allman Street. He said the city is working with the developer and have given him permission to build a driveway on the easement. Having the platted street will make assigning addresses to the lots easier in the future.

“Does it get urbanized ever?” asked alderman Greg Knight.

Harris noted that there is a wetland area in the middle of the proposed area which could make road construction there expensive. He said the plan is to have the north three lots developed for residential but the southern lots closer to Allman St. could be developed for multi-family dwellings.

Alderman Mike Bub asked about maintenance of the access driveway and how things like garbage collection would work.

“The city will not be responsible for snow removal,” Harris said, as far as garbage collection, Harris suggested the property owners may have to place their garbage carts on Impala Drive for collection.

Alderman Laura Holmes asked if the developer could request the city make it a street in the future. Harris said that could be done, but at this time the city is working with the developer who is OK with building a gravel access driveway.

The development came to the city council as part of the plat approval process. On Monday it was approved by the planning commission and with council approval it will go to the state for approval at that level before work can begin on the project.

In other business, aldermen:

_ Approved an ordinance establishing city wards within the supervisory districts set up in the city of Medford. This is a step in the redistricting process that must be done every 10 years to make the districts closer to being equal in size. While the population of the city did not change significantly over the past decade, where people live in the city has shifted causing some lines to be redrawn.

_ Approved an agreement with WANRack to allow fiber optic cable to be installed on the pedestrian walking bridge just south of the Millpond Dam. WANRack is in the process of installing about 90 miles of fiber optic cabling as part of a county effort to construct a middle mile network and greatly improve internet access in the county.

_ Approved an easement with We Energies for near the Gowey Abstract and Title building on Second Street. The agreement will allow the gas company to use city land to install gas lines in the area.

_ Approved a lease agreement with Taylor County for law enforcement space at the courthouse. Under terms of the lease, the city will pay $1,440.38 per month or $17,284.56 in 2022; $1,459.08 per month or $17,508.96 annually in 2023; and $1,477.78 per month or $17,733.36 annually in 2024.

_ Approved an updated job description and gave authorization to fill the vacant streets/water superintendent position. The position was previously held by Harris and under terms of his hiring agreement last year was kept vacant pending successful completion of a year as city coordinator. With a successful evaluation the city is moving to fill the position which is the lead for the public works crew and oversees the city’s water system.

_ Approved granting Walmart a premise description change to allow curbside sales of beer and liquor as part of the store’s curbside service for customers. The premise description states on which part of the building or property the liquor sales may occur.