Janesville76.1°

Town of Geneva could have two municipal buildings

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Kayla Bunge
February 11, 2010
— The Geneva Town Board will consider whether remodeling its town hall and building a new, smaller facility at another site is the best way to address its space needs.

“It really was the most practical and most cost-effective option,” said Scott Letteney, chairman of the ad hoc municipal building committee, which made the recommendation to the town board Monday.


The committee for months discussed ways to address what the town needs and what the town wants in a municipal building. The group conducted a space needs assessment, surveyed municipal employees and looked at other municipal buildings. It also considered the pros and cons of several options, including continued use of its existing building, remodeling its existing building or building a new facility.


Space is tight at the town hall, officials told the Gazette during a tour of the building last summer.


The desks of the administrator, clerk/treasurer and building inspector are separated by only a few feet, leaving little room for one-on-one meetings with auditors, engineers or residents.


Town, police and court records have spilled out of desk drawers, file cabinets and a storage room, using needed workspace. The town garages, house highway trucks and squad cars, are cramped and poorly designed.


Town officials like that the town hall is centrally located in the township. They also like having all town departments in one building. But town officials are concerned about security, handicapped accessibility and energy efficiency.


The committee considered four options:


-- Using the existing building without making any improvements. The committee ruled out that option because it would not meet the needs of the town, Letteney said.


“The facility we have now is just inadequate,” he said.


-- Completely renovating the existing building. The committee rejected that option as too expensive, Letteney said.


-- Building a new town hall. The committee nixed that option also as too expensive, Letteney said.


-- Partially remodeling the existing building and building a new, smaller facility at a nearby site. The committee picked that option it would address the needs of the town and be cost-effective, Letteney said. The town shouldn’t need to spend a lot of money to rework the existing building, he said. And it shouldn’t need to build a very large facility to house only a few departments, he said.


The town board now must approve the recommendation and direct the committee to move forward with planning, including finding a nearby site for the second building and figuring out which departments should be housed in which building, Letteney said.


The town board could discuss the recommendation at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting before that, he said.



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