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City denies auto body and towing businessman’s request even after he agrees to make concessions

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 14th, 2011

The City Commission has again denied a Huron businessman’s request to expand his operation by allowing him to park his tow trucks on a vacant lot at 11th Street and Kansas Avenue Northeast in an area surrounded by residences.

Gary Rudloff, owner of Rudy’s Auto Body & Towing, was first denied the variance to have trucks on a commercial parking lot Aug. 22.

In the weeks since then, he wrote a letter to the commission agreeing to several compromises, including installation of an opaque, six-foot-tall fence, maintenance of the lot, keeping snow away from neighbors and not parking his trucks in the alley for long periods of time.

After the board denied the variance the first time, it was noted that Rudloff would have to wait six months before reapplying.

But City Attorney Gerry Kaufman said Monday that the waiting period is not applicable because Rudloff was not requesting a new variance with a new application but was asking for board reconsideration of a decision it already made.

Commissioners agreed by motion to reconsider the variance, but again denied it after neighbors stood to oppose it.

The six neighbors are just as adamantly against the variance as they were at the first hearing, commissioners were told. Most of the compromises Rudloff listed are already on the books, and he doesn’t follow the law now, the neighbors said.

Pam Stanley, whose house is nearest the body shop, said she appreciates the fact that Rudloff is being more cooperative in this case, but that he is still very difficult to get along with.

No one could support a commercial parking lot between two homes, she said, adding she thinks he made a mistake by buying the property.

“It’s time to figure out something different,” she said.

Meanwhile, Greater Huron Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Borszich said Jeff Miller of Huron has been awarded the contract to demolish former Huron University buildings for the Central Park redevelopment project and that work will begin shortly.

Miller will start with the library, then proceed to Voorhees Hall, the maintenance shop and then the two dormitories. Demolition will be done by the end of the year.

Large warning signs will be erected to tell people to stay out of the construction zone or face arrest and a fine. He said being in the construction zone poses a serious safety risk. The area is being fenced off.

Borszich also said other projects under way are a new retail facility for Butler Caterpillar, the byproducts plant for Dakota Provisions, the new Farm Credit Services office building and the Pheasant Run apartment complex.

In other business, the board gave first reading of their 2012 appropriation ordinance. The total is $39,404,254, which includes $11.7 million to be spent on the Central Park redevelopment project. The 2011 budget is $28,079,480.

Commissioners also:

• Reappointed Robert Jones as a Huron representative to the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System board of directors for a three-year term.

• Approved the full-time regular status of Carey Dennis in the street department after his 60-day probationary period.

• Approved revisions to an intergovernmental agreement with Beadle County to share 911 emergency call services, and a funding agreement with the state Department of Transportation for letting and construction of street improvements on Ninth Street Southwest, from Lincoln to Frank avenues, and on Frank Avenue Southeast, from Third to 14th streets. City officials will be meeting with residents along those streets to talk about how they will be widened in some areas to improve traffic flow.

• Approved a noise permit, street closings, alcoholic beverage consumption in designated public areas and the placement of garbage cans, picnic tables and bleachers for Huron Harvest Fest in the downtown area on Oct. 8.

• Approved a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license filed by Lazer’s for a designated area on Third Street Southwest during Huron Harvest Fest.

• Set Oct. 3 as the bid-opening date for a one million gallon elevated water storage tank to be built next year north of Trussbilt.

• Declared Thursday as Gene Kingdon Day in Huron because he will be celebrating his 100th birthday.

For the complete article see the 09-13-2011 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-13-2011 paper.

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