River Falls City Hall RTSA

River Falls City Hall is located at 222 N. Lewis St. File photo

The River Falls City Council passed a resolution rescinding the city's emergency declaration, discussed an ordinance repealing and replacing a section of the municipal code relating to special use permits and heard from various speakers.

Rescinding of the Emergency Declaration for the City of River Falls

In response to the pandemic, the Mayor and the City Council passed a resolution declaring a local emergency on March 24, 2020 due to COVID-19. On June 8, 2021 the council rescinded that emergency declaration. The new ordinance states: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over… City staff is able to maintain a response as needed without impact to regular service delivery… The emergency declaration provided staff with flexibility and a mechanism for timely response. COVID-19 will continue to require staff, and Council, attention; however, current conditions do not require a deviation from standard practices and procedures. Therefore, the emergency declaration is no longer needed at this time.” 

The emergency declaration allowed the Mayor and/or the City Administrator to do the following, amongst other things: 

  • act in the place of City Council to purchase goods and services that may be needed to respond to the emergency

  • apply for financial assistance from the state or federal government

  • use city resources to provide public assistance as is determined to be in the best interest of the common good

Community Arts Board requests funds for bench replacement

Music in the Park

Steve Lehto and John Wright perform during a past River Falls Music in the Park. This year the event is back with a new schedule and a diverse lineup. Submitted photo 

The bench and canopy located in Veterans Park was originally installed and paid for by the Community Arts Board (CAB) at no cost to the city. While performances, Art on the Kinni, concerts and more have been taking place at the park, the bench has been deteriorating. The work has already begun to replace it and will cost about $7,450. The CAB has requested the city assist in acquiring funds for around a third of the anticipated costs. 

Presentation from Accurate Appraisal on Market Revaluation

Accurate Appraisal presented the city with an outline of the market revolution process. Market sector values appreciate and depreciate at different rates over time. Sectors include homes, property, neighborhoods, etc. 

As the value of property changes, revaluation assures fairness and equity among different market sectors. “A market revaluation means that all property within River Falls will be reviewed and revalued to market value,” states the presentation from Accurate. 

Every municipality in Wisconsin is required to be within 10% of equalized value, or the value of all property, set by the Department of Revenue, for each community. Once out of that 10% range, revaluation is needed within 5 years. This is one of those years for River Falls. 

“The village does not collect more taxes just because a market revaluation is performed. A periodic evaluation ensures all property is assessed to market value.” 

Ordinance relating to Special Use Permits

The council approved an ordinance repealing and replacing a section of the municipal code relating to special use permits. The ordinance changes the process of granting special use permits. 

Instead of requiring both the Plan Commission and City Council approval, the decision to grant a permit can be made solely by the Plan Commission and appeals will be made to the Board of Appeals. The ordinance states “The Plan Commission is considered to be a logical review authority given their familiarity with planning and zoning issues.”

This ordinance comes in correlation with a change to the state statute.

Additional passings and appointments 

The council approved a resolution awarding a bid for the city’s janitorial services to FBG Service Corporation, who has been the contractor for the city for the past nine years.

A resolution approving a developer's agreement with Wasson Properties, LLC was also approved. Wasson Properties submitted development plans to construct an 11 unit townhome project on S. Wasson Lane, just south of the soccer park. 

Mayor Toland reappointed Patricia LaRue to the Park and Recreation Advisory Board and Kellen Wells-Mangold to the Utility Advisory Board.

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