By Clint Wolf - May 17th 2023
Since 2019, there has been no Town Hall in the Town of Beloit. The Town Administrator and other town officials have set up offices at Fire Station 1 and town board meetings have been held at the fire station on Afton Road.
That all could change by the end of next year as plans were approved Monday for a new town hall, which will be part of a rebuilt Fire Station 2 on Inman Parkway. The plan would put the town hall, Fire Station 2 and the town police station all next to each other on Inman Parkway.
Town of Beloit/City of Beloit Fire Chief Daniel Pease told the board the construction at Fire Station 2 would not be a total tear-down, but there will be some demolition at the fire station at 1143 Inman Parkway. The rebuilt fire station will include three apparatus bays instead of the current two bays, living quarters for fire staff, fire department administration areas as well as a section of the building which will be the new town hall.
The township received a $7.67 million grant from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which should pay for the fire station rebuild.
The town hall portion of the building will cost approximately $2 million.
Town Administrator Tim Willnitz said the town has about $800,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds which can be put toward the town hall portion of the project.
Pease said coupling the town hall project with the fire station reconstruction resulted in a huge cost savings. Estimates to build a free-standing town hall were around $6 million, he said.
The construction project will go quickly since one of the conditions of the grant application is the project must be complete by the end of 2024. Pease said he anticipates demolition work will begin in July and the project will be complete by November of 2024.
All personnel will have to move out of Fire Station 2 during the construction project. That will include not only fire personnel, but code enforcement and community development personnel, who have maintained offices there since the old town hall was sold and demolished.
Pease said one portion of the old Fire Station 2 that will not be demolished is the basement, which has walls that art two feet thick. He said the basement could be used for storage.
Town board member Steve Kopp asked if the newly reconstructed fire station would be filled with Town of Beloit equipment and be staffed by Town of Beloit personnel.
Pease said it would. He noted that the department is scheduled to hire three new fire staff members and has already ordered new ambulance. He said the department would not have to purchase new equipment, other than what already has been approved, to put in Fire Station 2.
The architect for the project is Williams Architects of Itasca, Illinois. Pease said he had previously worked with the firm when he worked in Illinois. The general contractor for the project is Frederick Quinn Corporation (FQC) based in Addison, Illinois.
The former town hall was located at 2871 S. Afton Road. When it no longer could serve the township’s needs it was sold and the new owner demolished the building.