Village Board approves initial commitment from village to new library and community center facility

FALL CREEK - The Fall Creek Village Board took steps during it s May meeting to give its support to the proposed new library/community center5 for the village at its May meeting held back on the 13th in the village hall.

The first such step was to give a "soft" commitment of $850,000 to what's estimate to be a project to build a facility worth seven million dollars. Much of this money would come from the sale of the existing Fall Creek Library/City Hall facility on Lincoln St. which a realty company estimated was worth as much as half-million. Other monies would come from reserve funds. This "soft" commitment was being done upon recommendation of the company Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, which was hired to complete a Capital Campaign Financial Readiness Study regarding the library/community center project. This study will determine the level of financial resources likely to be gained from businesses, organizations, and community members who are interested in donating to this project and wanted to know the level of financial support the Village is willing to put toward the project, whether it be for the administrative portion of the building, or landscaping, or any other part. Crescendo recommended that a commitment from the Village in the range of 12-15 percent of the project cost would show prospective donors the Village is committed to the project.

Not only will such donor money be crucial to help building the new facility but grant money as well, especially grant funds coming from from leftover ARPA money. Some­ $107 million was awarded to the State of Wisconsin from the U.S. Treasury. The State is in turn awarding that money in grants to municipalities for projects such as libraries, community centers, and other anchor institutions designed to enable work, education, and health monitoring. A municipality can be awarded an amount of up to $4.25 million. Application for these grants are within a tight timeframe to complete with a stipulation that an awarded project must have construction completed by September of 2026, or the municipality must give the funds back. Thus a motion offered to have a referendum to spend village money on the library project failed by 6-1 vote of the Board as it was explained by Village Administrator Jared McKee, amid discussion on the topic, that the window for the grant opportunity would possibly be lost because there would not be enough time to fit within the parameters of the grant while waiting for the results of the referendum. The community would thus be responsible for paying for the entire cost of the project which would mean it would probably not go forward. After a motion on the referendum failed, the Board went ahead by a unanimous vote for a "soft" commitment for now to the project as it gets going. The Board also went into closed session with Library Board President John Kuehn and Library Director Charlene Conrad and came out of closed session to discuss Request for Proposals for Construction Management & Architectural Services, which they unanimously approved.

Another project the Village Board dealt with the Miami St. Project, which the Board discussed in a public hearing. The project is to replace paving on Miami Ave. Bids were opened May 1 and Tanner Excavating was awarded the bid unanimously at $71,000 pending signed agreement with the State for Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) grant funds, of which the Village will receive approximately $34,000 for this project. Special assessments for the project were approved by the Board unanimously, calculated per Village ordinance which specifies affected property owners are to share in 50 percent of the cost of road reconstruction with payback period of five years for a project. The final resolution passed earlier in the meeting places the owner’s share as a special assessment on the benefitted property which is then paid off with annual installments placed on the property tax rolls. The Board also voted to borrow $40,000 for the project.

In other agenda items, a resolution borrowing $650,000 for the purpose of financing TID No. 2 utility and road extension project was adopted unanimously. The term will be 16 years with an interest rate of six percent. A revision to the village's political sign ordinance to align it with a state supreme court decision. They also awarded the contract for asphalt on the for proposed basketball and pickle ball courts at Keller Park to Tanner Excavating at $69,000; award the bid for $34,895 to H&S Fence for fencing at Keller Park; a resolution to offer an additional $15,000 remaining ARPA money to be used for bringing broadband to the Jackson Ave. properties; approving bartender's licenses; and approving the sign permit applications of Legacy Custom Homes, Hailey Martin Crickets Pizza and Fall Mart.


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