UPDATE: Board wants more clarity on public safety project - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Board wants more clarity on public safety project


Lake Hallie (WQOW) - Another meeting will be held to discuss the future of a local building project.

The Lake Hallie Village Board met Thursday night to discuss building a new public safety building. That project was approved in a non-binding referendum last fall. The village president says the board brought up several questions they want answered before the project moves forward. For example: cost, square footage, whether or not the village actually needs the building and where it will go. The board decided to hold another work session next week Wednesday to discuss the project.


Lake Hallie (WQOW) - The New Year could bring some new momentum to a public safety project in Lake Hallie.  WQOW News 18 checked in with Lake Hallie on the efforts to build a new public safety building.

"I think the board wants to take it slowly, one step at a time," says Village Board President, John Neihart. It's been about two months since voters gave the green light for a new public safety building in the Village of Lake Hallie, and still, no progress. The building would house the police and fire departments.

Neihart says,"Sometimes it does get frustrating but that's the political process." He says since the vote in November, he's asked the board to start with a request for proposals, "for engineering services and they declined to do anything with that. A couple of the board members are concerned about the cost and I have to respect that. They're looking out for the taxpayers," says Neihart.

Because it was an advisory referendum, even though the majority of the community voted in support of the project, they still need the board to approve it. The board could do that after a meeting Thursday night.

Neihart says,"The board is going to review where we're at and the direction they want to go. I believe we're going to have four engineering firms here, pro bono, they're just coming to advise the board."

There are some factors that create a sense of urgency. "Right now, historically, our interest rates are very, very low and I guess I don't see them getting any lower. Two points or five points difference in the bond rate, could cost $500,000 to $750,000 more over a period of twenty years. I believe we can do this for under $4 million but the sooner we start, the more competitive the bids will be."

Another thing board members have discussed is including village offices in the new building, that wasn't a part of the referendum question. Neihart says, "I object to that, because the information given to the public is in support of the public safety building."

The village board will meet Thursday night at 7pm and could vote on whether to move forward. 

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