TOWN OF MILTON
Town officials have bought 6 acres of farmland from a family known for community activism and said the parcel could be used for a new municipal building, which could house a new town fire department.
Fredrick Farms accepted the town’s offer of $30,000 per acre Friday, April 2. The land is located near the intersection of High Street and Highway 59 and is owned by Mike and Signe Fredrick.
Town officials bought the property with the idea that it could house a town hall, police department and fire station, but Town Chairman Bryan Meyer said Tuesday, “This isn’t a full commitment to building a station.”
Meyer said the land was desirable because of its location and access to County M, Highway 59, Highway 26 and nearby towns.
In a statement shared with the Milton Courier, Mike Fredrick said the town’s idea of a new municipal building on land tilled by his father, Jerry, is compatible with the family’s community-minded vision.
The town and city of Milton currently share ownership of the Milton Fire Department, and each is considering how to provide the best fire services for its residents.
Options on the table include setting up their own fire departments or consolidating with the Janesville Fire Department. The town also is looking at other possibilities, including working with the city of Edgerton.
“This is something Dad would have been very proud of being a part of,” Fredrick said of the town taking control of its own fire protection needs. “He always wanted to do what’s best for the community in the long run—not just the short answer.”
Long hours of farming did not prevent Fredrick’s father from becoming well-known for his community service. Jerry Fredrick was a charter member of the Milton Jaycees, a driving force behind Milton’s FFA Alumni and helped build Hope Lutheran Church.
He also served three terms on the Milton Town Board beginning in the mid-1990s. During those years, he represented the town on the Joint Fire Commission.
“He always had a way of playing devil’s advocate,” Fredrick said of his father. “He had a knack for asking the tough question or the question others did not want to ask.
“He never wanted to go with a short-term or easy fix. I think he would have viewed the merger with Janesville as an easy fix. He always wanted to do what’s best for the long-term good of the township.”
The town board has not voted to end the firefighting relationship with the city of Milton or end the consolidation discussions with Janesville. Still, Fredrick sees positives in reaching out to nearby Edgerton.
“This came out of a discussion between multiple elected people from various municipalities,” he said. “All were in need of clarity on fire and safety services. They are all seeking a say in it. I think we are a big enough community to provide our own fire service and help out townships around us.”
Fredrick is a restaurateur who runs Fredrick’s Supper Club in Milton with his wife and Lori and Mike Jacobson. He also plants many of the acres on his father’s farm east of Milton.
Under a contingency of the sale to the town, Fredrick will farm the land until it’s developed.