Janesville46°

Burtness considers building options

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GINA R. HEINE
December 29, 2011
— Burtness Chevrolet is considering remodeling its downtown facility or building a new dealership in Orfordville's industrial park, a plan that could include selling its building to the village for a new library and municipal offices.

Burtness owner John Bowditch said the dealership is three to four months away from deciding what it will do.


"We haven't scheduled anything with the village, yet," he said. "We really don't know which direction GM wants us to go and which direction we want to go."


General Motors wants all Chevrolet dealer buildings to look the same, he said, so Burtness is looking at three options:


-- Remodeling the downtown facility.


-- Razing the downtown facility and building new at the same site.


-- Selling the downtown facility and building new in the village industrial park on Highway 11.


Bowditch said his intention "at this point" is to remain in Orfordville.


Village trustee Terry Morris said Burtness approached the village about buying the dealership's 9,000-square-foot facility at 303 E. Beloit St.


"No decisions have been made," he said. "They just approached us to see if we'd have any interest."


The village board doesn't know if it would want the Burtness building, he said.


"For us to make any kind of decisions, we'd have to find out what it's going to cost to purchase and what the cost of renovations would be," he said.


The board then would have to decide if the village could afford it, he said.


All village offices—from the police and clerk's offices to the library—need more space, he said. Storage and garage space are issues, he said, pointing out that village records are stored at the sewer plant.


The library board a few years ago bought land at 115 N. Center St. and has been raising money to build a new library at the site. Expanding other village offices was not on priority, Morris said.


"Everyone says it sounds like a good idea (until) reality sets in," he said.


The village has put the issue on hold until Burtness is ready to continue the discussion, he said.



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