In Jul 2023, a Renovation Committee was formed regarding the town hall remodeling. It was reported that when the hall was purchased some residents were asking for a public meeting space. The ARP (American Rescue Plan, aka CARES, aka CRF, Covid related) funds were received in 2021 and 2022. That committee started discussing ADA compliance, started adding space for a kitchen, refrigeration, more office space, a break room, and storage space. At the time the town hall was purchased, the board reported the church provides added storage, office space, and would be great. The committee had ARP funds to work with, a little over $461k, more than the cost of the building.

After discussion and design the committee went for bids which exceeded the funds by 60-70% - over $200k.

I believe some of the problem is that the board never gave a clear objective and direction to the committee.

What would I do if elected? I would thank the committee for their efforts and announce any remodeling will be a futures topic, and we will make some little/no cost changes to address some of the stated issues. The ARP funds would be used to fund road & ROW projects.

Replace the sunken front sidewalk.

Make the current conference room into the clerk’s office & files storage. Cost $0.

Move the table and chairs outside the room, where those meetings could be recorded and viewed. Additional public attending that sort of meeting only requires turning some chairs around.

Let’s talk ADA. That is a set of laws to require adjustments to accommodate those who need could use some help. It is meant to put teeth into doing what we up here call part of ‘Minnesota Nice,’ some common sense. I became attuned to the assistance desired when I spent some time on crutches. Apparently, the board and their predecessors haven’t had the experience. They moved the podium from the stage and put it in front of the emergency exit, and taped microphone cable to the floor. If it is winter, if you make it to the door, you have a snowbank to get over or through.

The podium has been moved. I would put in a sidewalk from the door to the parking lot and keep it clear.

I would provide wheelchair and walker seating areas other than the back of the room as it is now.

I would keep doors to the restrooms open to provide access and remove trach cans from the path into the room. Put them near the sink.

Get an inspection by someone other than an architect salesman as to what exactly is deficient. Perhaps help from the county? Until real changes are made, it is not required to become totally compliant.

Vote VINCENT ANDERSON March 12 Come to the annual meeting!