Residents asked to weigh in on Walworth Town Hall
IF YOU GO
What: Town of Walworth annual meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.
Where: Walworth Elementary School auditorium, 121 Beloit St., Walworth.
Details: Residents will be asked to vote on a resolution that would give the town the authority to spend up to $700,000 on construction of a new town hall.
WALWORTH TOWNSHIP Town of Walworth residents will decide at the town’s annual meeting Tuesday, April 13, if the town should build a new town hall.
Residents will be asked to vote on a resolution that would give the town the authority to spend up to $700,000 on construction of a new town hall.
“We want people to come regardless of their position,” town Chairman Joe Abell said. “We want an honest representation of the town.”
Town officials already have been working on the project before getting voter approval, but they have said they would stop preparations if residents are against it.
“We aren’t going to put in more work if people aren’t in favor of it,” Abell said.
About 70 percent of residents who responded to a survey included in tax bills in December indicated they supported the project, Abell said.
Town officials have been talking about the need for a new town hall for years, and the current town board—the first taking steps to make it happen—has been doing legwork on the project for about a year.
The 3,360-square-foot town hall at 1301 Town Hall Road was built in 1979. The hall, garage and parking lot sit on about two-thirds of one acre.
The clerk and chairman share the only office in the building. The treasurer, assessor and building inspector don’t have offices. The only workspace for the two town supervisors is a large table in the middle of the main room.
The meeting space is small.
Road maintenance vehicles are parked side-by-side in the town garage, and lawnmowers and other seasonal equipment are stored at nearby farms.
An Elkhorn architect estimates a new building would cost about $750,000. Town officials have said they expect the net cost to the town would be less because they hope to get land for a new town hall donated and plan to sell the existing building.
If voters approve the project, the town probably would take out a long-term, fixed-rate loan to cover the cost. Officials have said the town is well positioned to take on such a capital project because it doesn’t have any debt or any big equipment purchases looming.