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Ironwood Daily Globe, Ironwood, Michigan
Wednesday, July 6, 2005

New city hall favored

By MARGARET LEVRA
Globe Staff Writer

MONTREAL, Wis. -- The City of Montreal is leaning toward building a new city hall, estimated to cost $600,000. Two sites for the masonry structure are being considered, said Mayor Robert Morzenti. One site is east of the current city hall; the other, the preferred site is across Wisconsin 77, near the ball field.

No action was taken by the city council following a public hearing Tuesday because the item was not listed on the agenda. With 11 residents at the public hearing, architect Kevin Korpela of Becher-Hoppe Associates, Inc. of Wausau, reviewed four options. The group unanimously agreed to construct a 6,096-square-foot building to house a city hall with a larger council chambers and fire station.

The city originally proposed a 4,240-square-foot building that would house a city hall and fire station at a preliminary cost of $382,500 to $417,500. Most of those present at a March public hearing indicated they wanted to see a new city-fire hall constructed, with a community center added to the plans. City officials then called for other options.

Korpela reviewed tentative plans for a new building at a cost of $910,000. The 8,814-square-foot building would house a city hall, fire station and community room. He also presented plans for inprovements to the city hall at a cost of $370,000 and construction of a 3,400-square-foot fire station for $300,000. The total cost estimate of $670,000 does not include the removal of asbestos, said engineer Ken Ligmann from Becher-Hoppe.

A community center could be added to the structure in the future, Korpela said. He said the larger council chambers could be used for community gatherings. He said, according to state code, the council chambers would have a capacity of 130 people. No kitchen facilities will be available, however.

Engineering fees were included in all the preliminary figures, he added. In February, when Morzenti proposed a new city-fire hall, he noted the fire department has about $95,000 in a fund for the purchase of a new fire truck. He said that money could be put toward a new fire hall and then the fund could be built up over the next three to four years.

Fire chief Louis "Cookie" Laguna and assistant fire chief Mitch Koski, who is also a council member, agreed with that plan Tuesday. Koski said the fire department has applied for a Homeland Security grant to replace its fire truck within the next two years. "If we do not get the grant for the fire truck, we still have four to five years to build up the fund," he said. "The fire department has agreed to this," Laguna added.

Copyright (c) 2005 www.ironwoodglobe.com

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