Future City Hall Site Talks Monday Night
Cost to purchase new space over $500K, doesn’t include construction
By Brandi Makuski
Leaders in Stevens Point may have found a new home for city hall.
Following years of internal talks on the city’s options for its future location, the city plan commission on Monday will consider possible purchase of three lots near the Downtown District.
The lots include the former Washington Mutual building at 1466 Water St. and its existing parking lot. According to city documents, the new city hall would be constructed in the existing parking lot, while the existing building’s tenants would pay the city rent.
A separate piece of land to the west of the lots could be utilized for a new parking lot, according to city records.
A 2013 facilities study was utilized a stepping stone for additional ideas to solve the problems of cramped offices, ongoing HVAC issues and security risks for city government offices at the courthouse. The building is owned primarily by Portage Co. but the city holds 27 percent ownership of the facility.
Mayor Mike Wiza said several other locations were vetted by an internal group of city officials, with most dismissed for various reasons, to include the former Mid-State building on Michigan Ave. — recently approved as the new location of the Stevens Point Police Dept. — and remaining inside the County/City Building.
The latter was discounted because there’s no room for city offices to expand, Wiza said, and included a hefty future expense for necessary upgrades there.
“Staying [in the courthouse] just doesn’t address the space issues identified in the 2013 study,” Wiza said.
The price for the property is $425,000, plus the cost to buyout recent improvements made by the tenant, which totals just under $90,000, but that expense would be repaid by the tenant through monthly lease payments.
“The proposed site provides many options in terms of building/department layouts to improve efficiencies in the operations of city hall, as well as expand in the future if needed,” a memo from Michael Ostrowski, community development director, reads in part.
Ostrowski said once the purchase is approved, the next step is to work with a local contractor to determine building and department layouts and prepare architectural drawings.
Those documents should be ready for the finance committee in October, he said.
The plan commission meets at 6 PM on Monday, Oct. 2, in the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street. The meeting is open to the public.