Town decides to keep new hall cost at $1 million

Motion to spend $1.25 million for project fails on tie vote, leaving board to decide best option going forward
Ozaukee Press Staff

Additional financing for a new Grafton Town Hall failed to pass muster with  electors on Tuesday. 

During the annual town meeting, the Town Board asked residents to approve borrowing $1.25 million to construct a new hall. 

The proposal failed with a 6-6 vote among electors. Among board members, supervisors Paul Melotik and Tom Grabow voted against the motion, while Chairman Lester Bartel and supervisors Tom Sykora and Karron Stockwell voted in favor.

Last year, electors agreed to allow the town to borrow $1 million for the project. The board initially sought $1.5 million but decided Tuesday to reduce the amount to $1.25 million because it already used approximately $250,000 to purchase a 3.39-acre parcel at 2315 Hwy. W for the new facility. 

“Money-wise, no matter what we build, it will cost us as much or more than we are paying now for rent in combination with what we put away each year in the town hall fund,” Bartel said.

“We are going to have to cut the grass and do updates and maintenance on the building and pay for electricity and insurance.”

Stockwell agreed.

“I know the overall project will be closer to $1.5 million. I would like to get a loan approved (for about $1.25 million) so we can move ahead,” she said.

Melotik and Grabow said the cost of construction will likely be less in the future. Current estimates show construction costs are about $300 per square foot. 

“Since we didn’t come up with a financial plan, I don’t know how we should vote on it,” Grabow said.

On April 14, the board tabled action on a design contract to see if residents would approve spending more on the hall. The proposal was made by Stantec, the town’s engineering firm, to provide engineering and design services to complete the plans for the project.      

Bartel said the board will weigh its options and could potentially sell the property it has pegged for a new hall and look for an alternate site.

The current Town Hall at 1230 11th Ave. in the Village of Grafton is being rented for $33,000 per year. The board has set aside $10,000 to $15,000 annually for the cost of a new hall, and that fund now has about $235,000.

Three years ago, a study estimated the cost of land and construction for the hall project at about $1.26 million.

Officials said they are concerned about parking for older adults at the current facility, where meetings and elections take place.

They also want the hall to provide additional uses such as recycling and yard waste disposal.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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