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North Hudson Village Board now sends 'positive' message to proposed business

The village of North Hudson Board voted against the recommendation of its Plan Commission, opening the door for a Twin cities firm, Bright Solutions LLC, to potentially locate in the old car shops industrial area.

The company, however, must still supply more information to the Plan Commission before the board gives its final approval. The action came at the board meeting Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Bright Solutions LLC makes windshield washer fluid. The Planning Commission was concerned about the "warehousing" of methanol, a flammable ingredient.

After a lengthy discussion about the business at the Dec. 6 board meeting, the board gave the Plan Commission the task of defining "process, storage and warehousing." Current village codes would allow for storage of materials like methanol if it is part of a "process," but not for "storage," or as the codes says, "warehousing."

The Plan Commission came to last week's meeting with a definition of "warehousing" as something that is stored on a site with the intention of moving off it site in the same form at a later time. Plan Commission Chair Mike Miser said the committee passed the definition on a 4-2 vote. The definition essentially cleared the way for the board to reject the original Plan Commission recommendation of denial which based on the "warehousing" part of the code.

Business owner Chris Willeke, however, was instructed to bring a more detailed plan of the proposed business back to the Plan Commission.

Trustee Daryl Standafer said the board was not in a position to give approval for the business until all conditions are addressed by the Plan Commission.

"We're looking at a backward work flow if we attempt to take any action tonight," Standafer said.

Trustee Marc Zappa made the motion to reject the original Plan Commission recommendation of denial (based on the definition of warehousing.

"The rejection gives you (Willeke) an indication that the project is acceptable," Zappa said. He added that it is now up to the Bright Solutions to satisfy the conditions of locating the business in North Hudson.

The motion passed 6-1, with Stan Wekkin voting "no." Approving the motion were Trustees Zappa, Standafer, Jim Thomas, Dan Ortner, Colleen O'Brien-Berglund and President George Klein.

Weapons signage

By a 4-3 vote, the village board approved posting signs on village property banning weapons. The exact verbiage has not been determined, but it will be something that conforms to state recommendations.

Trustees Daryl Standafer and Stan Wekkin again argued that the signs were of no practical use.

"This is an exercise in futility," Standafer said. "A sign is not going to stop the 'bad guys' from bringing a gun into the Village Hall. If anything it gives a false sense of security."

President George Klein said he couldn't argue with Standafer, but said there has been some concern from employees. He said the sense of security is worth the price of a few signs.

"A 5 X 7 sign is not going to make anyone any safer," Wekkin said. "It's another law against law-abiding citizens -- it makes no sense."

The motion passed 4-3 with Ortner, O'Brien-Berglund, Klein and Thomas voting in favor of the signs. Voting against them were Standafer, Wekkin and Zappa.

Other business

  • President Klein announced that residents will have access to free Christmas tree pickup on Fridays, Jan. 13 and 20. Trees should be left by the curb.
  • Approved payment of December non-recurring claims of $41,285.48.
  • Approved the change in the term of municipal judge from two to four years.
  • In approving fee schedules, raised the rate of cat licenses by $2.

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