Deerfield needs a larger, more secure Village Hall for its staff and the public, a consultant told the Village Board Monday, Sept 23.
Representatives from Barrientos Design & Consulting, of Milwaukee, said the needs could be met through new construction or by remodeling a different, existing building.
The consulting firm recommended in a report presented to the Village Board that the village dismiss the idea of trying to remodel the current Village Hall at 4 N. Main St., that was built in the 1880s.
Barrientos is recommending that the village build new or remodel a different existing building that would offer about 5,800 square feet of space for the village offices, large and small meeting rooms and a public lobby area that with modern security features.
It also recommended that the Deerfield Historical Society Museum, now housed on the second floor of the Village Hall, not move to the new site but perhaps, rather, spread out over both floors of the historic 4 N. Main St. building.
Currently, the first-floor of the Village Hall at 4. N. Main St., houses offices and a small meeting room in about 900 square feet. The second floor, also amounting to about 900 square feet, houses the Historical Museum and a village record storage room.
In its report presented to the Village Board on Sept.
23, Norman Barrientos, Barrientos’ principal architect and president, and project architect Douglas Forton estimated that constructing a brand-new village hall would cost $1.4 million to $1.75 million, not including extras like furniture, architect fees and buying a site. The cost of remodeling an existing space would depend on what that space offers.
Neither does that figure include sustainability measures like solar panels or geothermal heating.
Norman Barrientos stressed that the figures are very preliminary.
“It’s very important to remember… it’s still very early in the process; a lot of things can affect the numbers,” he said.
The report recommends that the new Village Hall include a large public meeting room that could accommodate about three dozen people and a smaller conference room for up to a dozen people as well as separate, ADA-compliant restrooms for village staff and the public.
The current Village Hall, “severely lacks space,” Norman Barrientos said, as he looked out over the existing meeting room on Sept. 23 in which were crammed the board, a representative of the local cable access channel and his equipment being used to tape the meeting and chairs for about 10 members of the public. Several members of the public, unable to find a chair, stood in the meeting room doorway.
Village Administrator Elizabeth McCredie has also expressed concern about members of the public having to walk past village staff desks to reach the existing Village Hall meeting room, potentially compromising confidential information.
Barrientos representatives and Village Board members noted that the new report’s recommendations are similar in some ways to an analysis done in 1998, the last time the village was considering moving the Village Hall.
Norman Barrientos said, however, the 1998 report was written in a different security era; it doesn’t for instance include security features like a dedicated barrier between the public and staff, that would be standard today.
Norman Barrientos said the goal would be to serve the community for the next 50 years with new Village Hall space that would be “a source of pride (and) have a significant, meaningful function.”
Barrientos further brought a proposal to the Village Board on Sept. 23, to hire it for the next phase of design work that would involve developing schematic plans for several options including new construction and remodeling a different existing building. The cost to hire the firm to do that would be about $25,000.
The board tabled that proposal, saying they need some time to process what was presented Sept. 23 before hiring Barrientos to move forward. The proposal may come back at a meeting in November. Some board members also said the village should ask for bids on the next phase from design firms other than Barrientos.
“I would like some more time to look at the presentation we received. And I think it’s premature to engage somebody to do a schematic design, first of all, without any competitive bidding and, second of all, without identifying some sites on our own,” Village Board member Don Kositzke said.
“It would be nice if we could get some public input on it as well before we start spending money,” Kositzke added. “It’s a big dollar item.”
Police station, public works garage
The Barrientos report presented Sept. 23 also looked at the space needs of the village’s existing police station on West Deerfield Street, which is now used by the Dane County Sheriff’s office, which contracts with the village for law enforcement services. And the report looked at the space needs of the village’s Public Works Department garage on Industrial Park Road.
Barrientos concluded that the police station has enough space but could benefit from some minor remodeling and updating. The public works garage, meanwhile, could benefit from a 7,0000-square-foot addition that would bring its total square footage up to about 19,700 square feet, the report also said.
The police station remodeling would likely cost $80,000 to $134,000, the Barrientos report said. The public works garage addition and remodeling would cost $1.1 to $1.2 million dollars, the report estimated.
The report said the public works garage was built about 20 years ago and likely has 20-30 more years of use.
Speaking at the Sept. 23 meeting, Greg Johnson, a municipal advisor with Ehlers, Inc., the village’s contracted financial advisor, said there are several routes the village could take to pay for new Village Hall space and to upgrade the police station and public works garage.
The Village Board could vote to borrow the funds with the expectation of paying that borrowing off within 10 years, with no public referendum required, Johnson said. If the village chose from the get-go to spread its debt payments out over more than 10 years, a referendum vote would be required. However, Johnson said the village would be allowed under state statues to initially borrow for 10 years and to later refinance that debt, without ever holding a referendum.
Barrientos, in recent years, has designed municipal spaces including village halls and public works garages for many Wisconsin communities including Jefferson, Pardeeville, Clintonville
In other matters, the Village Board on Sept. 23 approved a project plan for tax incremental finance (TIF) district #3. The village has been working for about a year to amend a project plan for its TIF District #3.
TIF #3 encompasses Main Street and Fireman’s Park and also stretches eastward to High Street, northward and southward to just past the Glacial Drumlin State Bike Trail and to Liberty Street and westward through developer Don Tierney’s Savannah Parks neighborhood and Savannah Park.
The village’s Plan Commission/Economic Development Committee on Aug. 19 voted to recommend spending about $1.75 million through 2026 on projects.
Those include an upgrade of Park Drive between Main Street and Fireman’s Park and to other downtown pedestrian walkway improvements and upgrades that could include new road pavement, sidewalks, lighting, parking areas and bike lanes and beautification elements like planters and benches; about $590,000 for building improvement grants to downtown businesses; about $400,000 to reconstruct West Nelson Street in front of Truckstar Collision Center, including lowering the hill there per Truckstar’s request; about $190,000 for environmental remediation work tied to past industrial contamination on a West Nelson Street site Truckstar plans to expand onto; and $70,000 to hire an economic development coordinator – Redevelopment Resources of Madison — which currently has a one-year contract with the village through March 2020.
Additionally, by September 2020, the village plans to make a $125,000 incentive payment to Don Tierney, developer of the Savannah Park neighborhood where a significant increase in property values has over the past decade helped fund TIF #3. That would be a final payment to Tierney, who between 2005 and 2018 received about $2.3 million in developer’s incentives from the village through TIF #3.
And between now and 2026, the village plans to spend about $214,000 out of TIF #3 for administrative and professional service costs.
The Village Board also on Sept. 23 approved the creation of and set the boundaries for TIF District #6 that will allow for the expansion of Truckstar Collision Center Inc. on West Nelson Street.
The Plan Commission/Economic Development Committee on Aug. 19 recommended to the Village Board that a project plan for a new TIF district, TIF District #6, that encompasses Truckstar’s site, be approved.
The total $565,000 the village plans to spend through 2040 in TIF#6 includes $425,000 in developer’s incentives to Truckstar for its planned building expansion, remediation work and West Nelson Street improvements including lowering the roadbed. The remaining $140,000 will cover the cost of creating TIF #6 and other administrative costs.
In addition to the village TIF investment, Truckstar has said it plans to invest about $2.2 million of its own money to roughly double the size of its facility.
The Village Board also on Sept. 23:
• Set the 2019 trick-or-treat time in the village for Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5-7 p.m. which coincides with the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department’s annual trick-or-treat event, from 5-7:30 p.m. that night.
• Voted to approve the 2020 Deer-Grove EMS budget of about $1.14 million. The village would split about $521,000 of that cost with the Village of Cottage Grove and Town of Cottage Grove; Deerfield would contribute about $84,000, the Village of Cottage Grove about $277,000 and the Town of Cottage Grove about $160,00. Other sources of revenue, including about $550,000 in run fees, would cover the rest of Deer-Grove’s 2020 costs. The 2020 budget is about a 2.7 percent increase over the $1.11 million 2019 budget.