By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
The Monticello City Council was faced with a tough decision Monday night during their regular meeting on June 17.
Al Oberbroeckling, who lives along N. Gill Street, requested a building permit to construct two decks on his property.
The city’s current building permit process, which was modified last year, states that if a neighboring property owner disagrees to the location of boundaries (needed to determine set-back requirements), the permit is taken to the City Council for approval. If the Council denies the request, the person seeking the building permit can obtain a survey, at their cost, to satisfy/ratify the situation.
Oberbroeckling wants to build a deck on the south side of his home, facing the Jerry Pasker property. The issue is no one knows for certain where the property lines legally stand. There is a shared driveway, but it’s not clear whose property the driveway legally sits. This is the first time the issue has come to the Council’s attention under the new building permit application process.
Oberbroeckling said he’s waited nine years to add a deck onto his property to make the necessary improvements. He told the Council that he’s made improvements to the property over the past several years “to make the neighborhood look nice.”
Pasker admitted he does not know where the property lines/driveway lines are, and until an answer is legally determined, he’s not in agreement with Oberbroeckling to allow him to build a deck facing his property.
City Administrator Doug Herman informed everyone that the Council made a decision in this fashion a year ago, costing the city $1,000 in the end over the property dispute.
“This is an issue we want to avoid,” said Herman. “This is why the city’s building permit process changed a year ago to take the city out of the loop from wrongly deciding whose property it is.”
Pasker added, “I would really like to know where the property lines are supposed to be” before Oberbroeckling commences with the project.
Herman said the cost of a survey would be between $700 and $1,000, of which it would be up to Oberbroeckling to do so.
“I probably won’t go through with it if I have to get a survey,” Oberbroeckling said. “I’m not going to spend that kind of money.”
After discussions and clarifications, the Council felt they did not want to approve a building permit, voting the motion down unanimously.
Both Oberbroeckling and Pasker felt they could come up with some kind of an agreement.
In other city business:
• The Council approved the purchase of lights for the softball field, with reimbursement from Bud and Georgia Johnson for the project.
The Johnsons wish to donate new lights for the field next to Shannon School, with the city acting as a pass-through agent for the project. The field sits on school property, but is heavily used by the city leagues. There will be no cost to the city or school district for the new lighting, a donation made by the Johnsons for the needed improvements.
The Council thanked Johnson for his generous donation.
• The Council approved to re-appoint Britt Smith as Chief of Police, along with a 2.5 percent pay increase to take effect on July 1, 2013.