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Crosslake Committee Agrees on Direction For City Hall Plan

Web posted April 16, 2019
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

The citizen committee appointed by Mayor David Nevin to develop a recommendation for the Crosslake City Council regarding what to do with the city hall building has reach a unanimous decision on an option it reviewed at a meeting held Wednesday, April 10 at city hall. The plan also has the support of the city’s fire chief, police chief and mayor.

Mike Angland of Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) and Andy Waletzko of HyTec Construction presented the plan after meeting with Mayor Nevin, Police Chief Erik Lee, Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller, City Administrator and Treasurer Mike Lyonais, Building Committee Chair Kevin Sedivy and several other members of the committee. The plan would build a new building on land to be purchased north of the existing city hall to house the police and administrative departments and remodel the existing city hall building for exclusive use by the fire department.

The transition plan would be to build the new building first, move the police and administrative staffs into that facility, then remodel the existing building.

Fire Station
The plan calls for no expansion of the existing city hall footprint as it is transformed into the fire station. The extra space would enable the fire department to gain a decontamination room to remove harmful chemicals from firefighters’ gear after returning from fire calls. A new room for training would also be provided as well as a three-story training tower. The tower would be used by the Crosslake fire and public works departments and possibly other area departments that provide mutual aid under the current mutual aid agreement whereby neighboring departments help one another with training and during emergencies. When asked if he would use the tower for any of his clients in his statewide training business, Lohmiller said he would not.

Lohmiller said the plan would meet the needs of the fire department for the next 10 to 15 years. The cost to remodel the building would be $1,382,105.

New Police Station and Administrative Offices
A new building would be built on land to be purchased north of the existing city hall to house the police department and administrative departments. In a closed session during the April 8 city council meeting, the council authorized the city attorney to enter into negotiations to purchase the land.

The 11,694 square foot building would meet the needs of the police department well into the future,  according to Police Chief Erik Lee. It also would provide adequate security for the administrative staff and additional seating for the public in the council chambers. The proposed cost of the building is $3,381,150 bringing to the total proposed cost of the project to $4,763,255.

Committee members discussed the fact that the costs do not include furnishings or audiovisual equipment. They challenged the staff to meet again with WSN and HyTec to see if the building plan could be reduced by 1,000 square feet. There was also talk of adding a basement under all or part of the facility. WSN and HyTec were asked to meet again with staff and come back to the committee with a refined proposal that cost no more than $4.7 million including furnishings and audiovisual equipment. However, several committee members voiced the opinion that while cost was important, functionality was imperative.

The committee asked Lyonais to come to the next meeting with several options on the best way to finance the project.

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