VILLAGE OF SUMMIT - Nearly a decade after a new village hall was first suggested, ground was broken Thursday, May 18, on a new facility at Dousman and Delafield roads.
Perhaps it was an omen that the sun broke through the clouds as Village President Jack Riley welcomed about 30 people to the ceremony.
"We have known for a very long time that we need a new village hall," Riley said. "This is likely one of the most researched, thought-out and deliberated projects in the state."
The president made a point to thank Scott Piefer, the one current trustee absent, and Sue Moran, a former trustee who retired from the board this spring. She was not present.
"Above and beyond the regular meetings, they put in extra time reviewing plans, attending early morning meetings and basically doing anything else that was asked of them," Riley said of Piefer and Moran. "Without their help, I am convinced we would not be breaking ground today."
Riley also said that "getting things accomplished in government is often described as sausage making. This project has definitely been through the grinder."
He told representatives of MSI General, the firm coordinating the three-building project, "I realize we are not the most accommodating group to work with," but that they "managed to keep us moving forward despite all the hurdles."
Dirk Debbink, CEO of MSI General, quipped that "we've got one heckuva fine sausage we're going to build for you."
The complex will include a village hall, public works department building, and a salt storage shed.
Village Administrator Henry Elling said afterwards that the village still hopes to have the public works building done by the end of the year. As for the village hall, "we look forward to an open house and ribbon-cutting in late May or early June of next year."
Elling said May 22 was the deadline for prospective buyers of the current village hall to present offers. He said offers will be announced at the June 1 board meeting, but no decision would be made then.