Archived Story

Kidwell’s controversial shed in compliance

Published 11:47pm Monday, November 7, 2011

The controversy over a building behind Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell’s home still isn’t settled, despite an investigation conducted by Township Assessor Carol Hill and Building Official Jeff Dunlap finding the building is in compliance with township ordinances.
During his report at Monday night’s township board meeting, Kidwell reported he is paying taxes on the storage shed and the building inspection found it to be in compliance with  township regulations.
He said he was unable to locate the permit for the building but said Dunlap reported it is not a concern.
The issue was sparked by an anonymous letter mailed in September to Stefanie Woodrick, the township’s zoning administrator, questioning whether the supervisor is paying taxes on the structure and if it is up to code.
The anonymous writer referred to the building as “a second residence or cottage” and stated someone might be living there — something Kidwell has denied.
Trustee Gary Conover said he has gotten several phone calls about the issue, including some anonymous residents requesting the township complete an investigation by someone outside of the township.
“They are saying to not have the fox guard the henhouse,” Conover said.
Township Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt suggested the township have a building inspector from another  municipality inspect Kidwell’s building.
Kidwell said if that is done, the same should be done for all board members.
Trustee August Kuehn said that would not be necessary.
“We’re talking about an anonymous complaint about a 400-square-foot building,” he said. “We’ve done our due diligence on our end. We don’t need to waste any more time.”
The board agreed to have trustee Dick Cooper talk to Hill about the permit issue before taking any action.

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