Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 19:33
Owners of Belgium Family Dental agree to donate $350,000 toward cost of purchasing new Town Hall
Town of Belgium residents apparently won’t have to wait much longer for a new Town Hall.
After months of discussion, town officials were told Monday that their preferred site for a new building would cost far less than originally anticipated.
Supr. Jim Blick, the chair of the Town Hall Committee, said the former BMO
Harris Bank building at 171 Main St. is being offered to the town for $110,000.
The potential Town Hall site was appraised at $460,000, Blick said, but $350,000 will be donated by Belgium Family Dental, which occupies the other half of the building.
“It’s almost an unbelievable price,” Blick said. “It has everything we’re looking for and is essentially a turnkey operation.
“I guess this is the dentists’ way of giving back to the community.”
Blick said the town was looking for a space with restrooms and increased storage and office space for the clerk and treasurer.
A site that was handicap accessible was also desired, he said.
The building was built in 1996 and has a new roof and paved parking lot, Blick said.
“Hopefully it will be maintenance free for a good while.”
Because the site is located within the Village of Belgium, the town and village have to work out “a few zoning issues,” before the deal is completed, but Blick didn’t anticipate any hang-ups in the deal.
He said he would like the town to pay back the $110,000 it owes within five years and is hoping for help from outside donors.
Supr. Bill Janeshek said there were no flaws with the new site.
“The only thing some people might say is that it’s within the village,” Janeshek said. “I don’t really see that as being a downfall.”
Janeshek also asked for outside donations, saying residents have stepped up in the past.
Town Chairman Tom Winker said the town is set up well within its budget to pay for the site over the next few years.
“This constitutes value,” he said. “This is going to be a minimal cost to the taxpayers.”
He stressed the town will work to stay within its budget and not raise taxes.
“It’s hard to look this gift horse in the mouth and turn it down.”
The town has called a special elector meeting at the site for Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.
Information will be provided on the acquisition of the property and the public will have a chance to comment.