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Medina electors vote down town hall

The structure was set to be constructed at 5536 Missouri Road – a 30.2-acre parcel the town purchased in 2019

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Medina Town Garage

The Town of Medina Board invites Town residents to a Question/Answer Meeting for the Proposed New Medina Town Hall/Garage on Wednesday Sept. 15 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Medina Town Garage located at 634 State Hwy. 19.

The Medina Town Board will need to decide how it wants to proceed after 64 of 124 people cast ballots against borrowing up to $3 million for a new town hall/garage at special Oct. 6 electors meeting. The town used paper ballots and a ballot box to collect the votes; 57 people voted to approve the building and three people chose to abstain from selecting the yes or no option.

Town Clerk Tammy Jordan said when the board meets later this month it will discuss creating a committee of residents and board members to decide what steps to take next.

The structure was set to be constructed at 5536 Missouri Road – a 30.2-acre parcel the town purchased in 2019

“We’ve been working on this for some time now and we just felt it was time to bring it to you guys,” Chairman Todd Weinberger said. “It’s your decision.”

Prior to the vote, Weinberger said a local committee determined the municipal building had several deficiencies. Based on this, the town chose to hire Keller & Associates to assist with developing proposals for new town hall/garage based on a needs assessment.

Devin Flanigan of Keller & Associates explained the business drafted up very preliminary plans on what a new town hall/garage could look like, noting those drawings were just base designs and not actual construction documents.

A few months ago, the town contracted with Baird to help determine how the cost of a new building would impact the local mill rate. Weinberger said based on two scenarios – borrowing $2.5 million and borrowing $3 million; both would have a payback period of 20 years with a 4% interest rate. If the town went with the first scenario, it would represent an extra 95-cent per $1,000 of valuation in the tax rate. Under the $3 million option, the town chair said the impact would be $1.16 per $1,000 of valuation.

“That $3 million, I am calling the worse-case scenario,” the chairman said.

Some residents talked about the high figures presented and said they were concerned about voting yes to having the town borrow such a large sum of money

Weinberger said the vote would have allowed the town to borrow up to $3 million but expected a building committee that would be put in place if the new town hall/garage passed would try to find ways to save money.

Weinberger also emphasized the town has not taken into consideration any funds it could receive from selling off excess acres at the Missouri Road site, selling the old dump site or selling the current town hall property. He indicated any money from those transactions could be used to pay off the debt the town would incur as part of the construction of the new building.

Weinberger reminded attendees the overall facilities upgrades started with the condemning of the old salt shed, which was replaced in 2019 with a new structure at 5536 Missouri Road.

The town is currently using three of the existing outbuildings on the Missouri Road property and has also moved its refuse and recycling center to the property.

“We have looked at modifying this building, adding on, etc.,” the chairman said. “Right now, the only two restrooms in the building are non-ADA compliant. Any modification to the building other than hanging a picture or changing the door, we have to be ADA compliant.”

Weinberger said if the men’s restroom were upgraded to being ADA compliant, it would need to expand into the secured storage space.

“It’s cost prohibitive; we live in a flood plain and you hear it’s a ‘once in a hundred-year flood.’ I’m only 54-years-old but I’ve already seen this place flood twice now,” he said.

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