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Construction on new Town Hall begins



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September 22, 2010 | 08:42 AM
Walworth Township — Town officials are ready to break ground on a new Town Hall facility after months of planning.

On Monday afternoon, town officials, representatives from Walworth State Bank, contractors and top executives from Kikkoman Foods came to the site of the new Town Hall to celebrate all that planning coming to fruition.

During the April 13 annual meeting, Town residents voted 89-3 to spend up to $740,000 to build a new Town Hall on Brick Church Road.

The talks of a new Town Hall began after Kikkoman Foods agreed to donate 7 acres of land near its plant for the building.

"There has been so much support from the community for years we felt it was the least we could do to give back," said Dan Miller, Kikkoman's vice president of administration.

The town accepted a low bid of about $674,000 submitted by Fischel Construction, Madison. This will cover construction costs, but not the well, septic and salt shed.

When town officials pitched the building to voters, it planned on including a 10-percent contingency to the plan.

Architect Warren Hansen said the town has already tapped into the contingency when the bids came in about 5-percent higher than anticipated. However, he isn't worried that the project will go over budget.

"We are going to be alright," he said. "It will be under the $740,000 total."

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Officials plan on selling the old Town Hall, which is predictably located on Town Hall Road. Town Chairman Joe Abell said there is an accepted offer of $200,000 for the building.

The agreement with the buyer allows the municipality to use the location until the doors open on the new building. When town officials pitched the idea for the building to residents, they stated they planned on selling the old building for $200,000.

Supervisor Larry Austin said the town received four quotes for a loan for the construction. He said Walworth State Bank was able to provide the best rates and the longest term for the community.

Austin works at Walworth State Bank and said he recused himself from the vote that accepted the loan.

About the new building

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The new facility will be able to seat about 85 people, which is about three times as many as the current building can handle.

A salt shed will allow the town to store its own supply throughout the winter. Currently, the town purchases its salt from the county, which has switched to sand during previous winters.

In April, Hansen said the site will provide opportunities for future growth. There will be garage bays for town vehicles and there is room to add more garage bays.

Why build?

Officials also said the old facility had cramped quarters, inadequate storage space and no room to grow.

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The town was borrowing barns to store their vehicles during off seasons.

There also isn't enough office space and the old building as one office that is shared by the building inspector, clerk, treasurer and town chairman.

Because of space issues, the town had to stop using the compost site, which it will bring back with the new building.

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