Township residents put new town hall proposal on holdEvery township across the nation holds an annual meeting in March, and on March 10, Grey Cloud Island Township followed the tradition.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Every township across the nation holds an annual meeting in March, and on March 10, Grey Cloud Island Township followed the tradition.
A moderator is voted in for the evening and town board members sit in the audience as residents hear an annual report from the board chair, hear committee reports and vote on the budget for the coming year.
But the main topic of the evening was a proposal to seek a site for a new town hall to replace the bare concrete-block, windowless building constructed in 1959.
The proposal by the town board got a cool reception from residents who said there weren’t enough specifics about where it would go and how much it would cost.
After a motion to approve was rescinded, another motion to put off the decision for until the next annual meeting for more information passed with 35 residents in favor and one opposed.
If the town board can assemble the information before then, it could call for a special meeting, according to Board Chair Dick Adams.
A new town hall has been debated for about 10 years with the latest one involving a land swap with Aggregate Industries, which owns and operates a limestone mine that abuts the town hall property.
If the town hall property were abandoned, the company could mine 250 feet of additional rock.
The company is offering to give the township about 10 acres of land in exchange for the town hall property with two locations to choose from.
The board proposed to re-plat the land into three or four lots, build on one of them and sell the remaining lots with proceeds paying for a town hall.
Planning Commission Chair Cliff Rodahl, a construction manager, estimates the lots would sell for about $120,000 each.
A building, which Rodahl estimated to cost about $300,000, would only be built when the land was sold.
The existing property would be leased for $1 a year for up to 10 years from the company.
Up front costs for the township would include $250 for a “perk” test for an on-site sewer system and the cost of platting the land.