Initial cost estimates on Farmington’s proposed new town hall are substantially higher than expected.
Farmington has set aside $800,000 in savings to pay for the new building, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014.
The town board has also purchased a parcel located across State Highway 54 from the existing town hall.
“They gave us a price that was a lot higher than we thought it would be,” Town Chairman Dale Trinrud said at the Farmington Town Board meeting Monday, April 21.
He said Martenson and Eisele Inc. of Menasha, the firm working with Farmington on the bulding’s design, estimated the cost for the 4,600-square-foot facility at nearly $850,000.
“That is a lot of money,” Trinrud said. “We’ve got to try to get by for $700,000.”
Trinrud said he is meeting with the architects to find ways to trim construction costs.
For example, Trinrud said some money can be saved by changes to the exterior surface.
The original design, which was presented to the public during a Planning Commission meeting March 24, called for three feet of brick from the grade up on three sides of the building and brick to the roofline at the front entrance.
Trinrud said the brick could be replaced with masonry blocks, which are about half the price.
Another option is to replace in-floor heating with forced air heating in about two-thirds of the building.
Noncompliance with state and federal floodplain regulations at area campgrounds may put Waupaca County’s participation in flood insurance at risk.
Ryan Brown, the county planning and zoning director, spoke at the Farmington Town Board meeting Monday.
He said FEMA and DNR staff had made a community assistance visit to Waupaca County.
The purpose of these visits is to ensure that floodplain regulations are being adequately enforced.
During the visit, several campgrounds throughout the county were found to be in violation.
“A letter was sent to the county board chair stating that if the issues were not corrected the county’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program would be at risk,” Brown said.
County zoning deputies also found a number of violations of state and county shoreland zoning rules.
Violations included permanent structures without permits, excess impervious surfaces, inadequate setbacks from wetlands and waterways, and lack of vegetative protection.
The county discovered that few if any land use permits had been issued for the projects within the campgrounds.
“Any structure requires a permit to be issued,” Brown said. “There’s been a lot of talk about grandfathering. If permits weren’t issued, they’re considered illegal structures.”
Brown said any structure for which a land use permit or a variance was issued is considered legal.
“Every other community member has to follow these rules. It’s only fair that campgrounds have to follow the rules, as well,” said Jason Snyder, a county deputy zoning administrator.
Brown said zoning department staff and campground owners formed an advisory committee to develop standards for campgrounds.
The standards limit seasonal campsites to 210 days a year.
Decks and patios are limited to 150 square feet, accessory structures are limited to 100 square feet and additions to or roof structures over campers are prohibited.
Brown said the first step will be conducting a survey of all campgrounds in the county.
Campground owners will be required to provide site maps that include enough detail so the county can calculate impervious surfaces and compliance with regulations.
Campgrounds will have four years to bring their sites into compliance with federal, state and county regulations.
Snyder said the county will issue bulk permits to each campground seeking to come into compliance over a two-year period, rather than separate permits for each structure within the campground.
Parking for kayakers
In other business, the town board voted to lease a 45-foot stretch along Grandview Road to the county to provide parking for cars without trailers so that kayaks and canoes can be launched at the Chain O’ Lakes.
County Park and Rec Director Roger Holman said the county will maintain space for four vehicles. The vehicles will need county stickers to use the space.
The town will also turn over the parking along Pine Ridge Lane to the county.
“We think it’s a good idea to change four car-and-trailer spots to seven spots for vehicles without trailers,” Holman said, noting that the other side of the road would be exclusively for vehicles with trailers.
Under the agreement, the county would also have authority to enforce the parking restrictions.