Weyauwega’s city hall and police department will be expanded and remodeled, and the city’s wastewater treatment will also be upgraded at a total cost of about $7.7 million for the two projects.
The common council approved the bids and interim financing for both projects when it met Monday, May 18.
“This is a very exciting project. It’s been talked about for many years. It’s overdue,” City Administrator Patrick Wetzel said of the city hall project.
Discussion about how to improve city hall dates back to 2008 and included an assessment of city hall and its needs.
A review of the current building’s suitability for renovation, as well as the two buildings next to it, also took place.
Several years ago, the city purchased those two lots, which will be part of the expansion of city hall.
This week, the council approved the base bid from Howard Immel Inc., of Green Bay, and accepted four alternates for a total cost of $2.6 million for the municipal building project.
The company was one of three which submitted bids. The bids ranged from $2.6 million to $2.85 million.
The alternate bids accepted for the project include upgrading the landings in the front stairwell from rubber to tile to match the lobby tile, installing rubber tread risers and landings in the rear stairwell, installing emergency panels and circuits and installing window coverings.
The upgrade at the treatment plant is related to an expansion project already under way at Agropur’s Weyauwega facility.
The city received four bids for that project, ranging from $5.09 million to $7.4 million.
The common council approved the bid of $5.09 million from Miron Construction Co. Inc., of Neenah.
On Monday evening, the common council also approved several other motions related to both projects.
The council authorized interim financing of $3.04 million for the city hall project and $6.05 million for the treatment plant project.
Jon Cameron, a municipal adviser with Ehlers, said the city will eventually refinance both of them, with the timing dependent on construction and the market.
The refinancing for the treatment plant project will be through the Clean Water Fund Program.
Since the city is doing the two projects at the same time, “from a timing perspective, we are proposing that they be sold at the same time,” Cameron said.
The interim financing will be through a negotiated process with a single underwriter, he said.
The common council will award the sale of the bonds for both projects during its June 15 meeting.
Funds will be available on July 7.
“City hall (construction) is slated to start on July 7 and the treatment plant in early July,” Wetzel said.
The city hall project is estimated to take between 10 and 12 months.
As a result, temporary space will be needed for city hall and the police department.
The council authorized Wetzel to acquire this space in the building at 123 E. Main St. at an estimated cost of $15,000.
Wetzel expects the move into the temporary space to take place in mid-June.
In regard to the treatment plant project’s timeline, he said the city is aiming for it to be completed by next April.
He explained the reason for interim financing for the projects.
With construction beginning in July, bills will already come due in August, Wetzel said.
The city will draw from the interim funds to pay those bills as needed, he said.
During Monday night’s meeting, he said the two projects would not be before the council if the city could not afford them.
“Legally, property taxes cannot be raised strictly to pay for this project,” Wetzel said.
Each year, the city sets aside $300,000 in its budget for its Capital Projects Fund, he said.
“In the past year, we have constructed a new park restroom facility and covered our portion of the East Alfred Street reconstruction project without having to borrow funds,” Wetzel said. “The intention would be to utilize the budgeted funds we’ve designated for capital projects to assist in paying for new debt associated with the municipal building project.”
By the end of the year, the city will determine the amount of funds it may use from that fund.
“We awarded construction,” Wetzel said, “but we still have decisions to make on security, technology upgrades and furniture, too.”
The city does have a jump on the furniture aspect.
Through his contacts with Johnson Insurance, an arm of Johnson Bank, Ald. Mike Kempf learned the company was relocating its office in Ripon and had like-new office furniture available.
“Mike was able to secure the furniture to be donated to the city for the project,” Wetzel said.
The furniture is valued at between $60,000 and $70,000.
“It’s a donation. It’s a pretty big deal. Thanks, Mike. We appreciate it,” Wetzel said Monday night.
The city now needs one more desk for a workspace.
The final motions related to the projects were to approve Cedar Corporation’s proposals for construction services for both projects.
The Green Bay firm helped plan and design the two projects.
The construction service costs are estimated at $133,400 to $147,500 for the city hall project and $490,000 to $515,000 for the treatment plant project.
“In closed session, we learned how good it to have someone like Cedar Corporation overseeing the project,” Mayor Jack Spierings said.