Weyauwega holds open house at both sites
By Angie Landsverk
Area residents toured the expanded Weyauwega municipal building and wastewater treatment plant during July 9 open houses at both facilities.
Mayor Jack Spierings said it was a pleasure to open up the municipal building for the residents.
He said at least 18 people were involved in the project, either as members of the common council or as the city’s mayor.
Many of them stood in the new community center as Spierings talked about the amount of research that took place before the project became a reality.
The discussion about how to improve city hall began in 2008 and included an assessment of city hall and its needs.
“A lot of research was done on locations,” he said.
City officials rode a bus to look at municipal buildings in other nearby communities.
Back in Weyauwega, they considered renovating city hall or constructing a new building on various sites.
In the end, the Weyauwega Common Council decided to keep city hall downtown and purchased the two buildings next to city hall in preparation for the expansion project.
The former taxidermy building next to city hall was razed, while the structure of city hall and the old mall building were retained.
That allowed the three lots to be connected after a two-story building was constructed between city hall and the old mall building.
The two-story structure is called the city’s municipal building, because it includes city hall, the police department and a new community center.
“Here we are,” Spierings said as he thanked former Mayor Don Morgan for starting the project.
Spierings also said he believes the community center is the best part of the project.
“We want the community to be able to use this,” he said.
Eventually, the nutrition site for the senior citizens will move to the space.
It is also where residents will go to vote.
The police department now has an interview room, and the council has a place to hold its meetings, after previously using the lower level meeting room of the Weyauwega Public Library.
MaryAnn Lippert, of Gov. Scott Walker’s office, also attended the open house.
She recalled meeting with City Administrator Patrick Wetzel and a former police chief in the old building and said she remembered how crowded the conditions were.
Lippert said many communities invest in themselves by investing in their facilities.
“I believe Weyauwega is investing in its past,” she said, because it refurbished two old buildings as it planned for its future.
When constructed in the early 1900s, the old city hall was originally built as a fire hall and city hall.
Lippert hopes the new building serves the community for another 100 years.
She also noted what is significant about the project is the financing package, which did not increase taxes.
The construction bid amounts for the municipal building and wastewater treatment plant projects totaled $7.7 million.
In addition, the city had design costs, construction administration, technology upgrades, change orders and revisions during construction and also parking lot site improvements.
The city anticipates the total cost will be $6.1 million for the wastewater treatment plant project and the total cost will be $3.45 million for the municipal building project.
The city obtained a low-interest, 20-year loan for the municipal building project, which will be paid from the city’s general obligation taxes.
The expansion of Agropur resulted in the need for upgrades at the treatment plant.
The city and Agropur have an agreement that the business will help fund the additional capacity through monthly user charges.
In addition, the city is applying for a low-interest loan through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Clean Water Fund to provide the final funding for that project.
That funding would be over a 20-year period.
Thad Majkowski, of Cedar Corporation, has been Weyauwega’s city engineer for about 30 years.
“This is a great accomplishment,” he said of the municipal building project.
He thanked the mayors and council members who worked on it during the last eight years.
The focus became to keep the building downtown, he said.
“I think it’s something to be very proud of,” Majowski said.
State Rep. Kevin Petersen also congratulated the city on the project and said it is people within a district and community who make a community what it is.