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Mount Pleasant trustees Monday voted to reconsider the special assessments against the properties on Highway V that would have paid the village’s portion of a sewer and water project aimed at attracting development in both Caledonia and Mount Pleasant. The final vote was 4 -2 with Jon Hansen abstaining. Trustees Gary Feest, John Hewitt and Ken Otwaska along with Village President Jerry Garski voted in favor, and Trustees David DeGroot and Sonny Havn voted against. A 90-minute public hearing preceded the village board meeting during which only a handful of residents – including Attorney Tom Devine representing the Highway V residents – spoke on the issue. What the vote means is that the village goes back to the drawing board to find a way to fund the project. In short, the ad hoc committee established earlier this summer will meet and come up with a plan they can present to the board. Another statutorily required public hearing will be scheduled where trustees will once again hear from residents before they vote on the new plan. Sewer and water is being run along Highway V from Caledonia down to Highway 20 in Mount Pleasant as part of a development plan for Caledonia in the immediate future and for Mount Pleasant in a few years. What was supposed to be closed system would not have cost the residents on Highway V anything, but village officials say installing a gravity system instead helps prepare for future commercial development in the area. Having a gravity system means homeowners on Highway V would typically be required to hook up for both sewer and water, but Mount Pleasant trustees voted last year to change village ordinance the eliminates that requirement. To listen to a full recording of the meeting, stay tuned for Rees Roberts’ story.  

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/