Committees recommend easement
Property in Clintonville would be land locked without agreement
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Parks and Recreation and Finance committees both recommended that the city enter into an easement agreement with Rita Braund, so her property will not be land locked.
Braund, who owns 32 Riverside Drive, wants to sell her property, but the potential buyers of the property are uneasy about purchasing the property because they would not have direct access to the property, said Deputy City Administrator/Public Works Director Caz Muske.
Muske spoke to the Finance Committee when it met Dec. 2.
A paved roadway leads to the property, but the roadway is not a designated street, rather it is designated as park property. The roadway is located by the Pigeon Lake Wayside area.
City Attorney Keith Steckbauer said Braund currently cannot sell the property because there is no direct access to the property.
“How that came to be, is beyond me, but it looks, acts, sounds, and tastes like a street in front of their house,” Steckbauer said.
Steckbauer said the property owners drafted an easement agreement and he approves of the agreement.
He said he did not want the easement to be exclusive so both the city s cannot be kept out of it.
“But it does grant them legal access to their house,” Steckbauer said. “And the other thing that I really wanted in there was, if and when we ever decide to make that a street, legally, then this easement would go away.”
City street funding
Even though the roadway is not officially a street, Steckbauer said Clintonville has been receiving state aid for the roadway as if it were a street.
“It’s only not a street because it’s not been called a street because it’s still a paved area on public property, just not a paved area on public property that’s called a street,” Steckbauer said.
Committee member Tammy Strey-Hirt asked if the city will have to refund any of the state aid funds it has received since the paved area is not officially a city street.
Muske said each year the city has to send a map of its city streets to the state of Wisconsin.
“So, in the event that we sell a part of a road, we’ll have to report that to the state, which could affect our funding in the future. We won’t have to pay anything back, but future funding it could affect,” Muske said.
Earlier in the day, Steckbauer told the Parks & Recreation Committee that he didn’t know how the Braund property was able to be built land locked over all the years.
“It never had a survey, a refinance, or a sale. I don’t know how long she’s owned it, but I just can’t believe how she is the original owner,” Steckbauer said. “I just can’t believe that somewhere along the lines somebody didn’t catch that.”
Steckbauer told the committee that the property owner should have the right to sell their property. He added that under current law the property owners can’t force the city to grant access to the property.
He said he thinks this is a good solution to the situation, but he said it is the committee’s decision as to whether it is comfortable with an easement over city park property.
Clintonville City Council was scheduled to discuss the matter at its Dec. 14 meeting.