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Cadott Village Board - Grant could fully fund library, but site is still in contention

Grant could fully fund library, but site is still in contention Grant could fully fund library, but site is still in contention

Shawn Kromrey was present May 6, at the Cadott Village Board meeting, explaining what parcels he has and why he requested a Certified Survey Map. Seeing no objection to the request, the board approved the map.  Photo by Ginna Young

By Ginna Young

There could be an avenue to fully fund a new library for the Cadott community, through the Flexible Facilities Grant, which is geared toward community centers and libraries. The grant opportunity was discussed during a regular Cadott Village Board meeting May 6.

As part of grant requirements, there has to be a component where the library provides work education and healthcare, in response to COVID-19, as well as providing broadband. The building also has to have an area dedicated to spaces such as interview rooms and places for telehealth appointments, as well as study areas.

“So, that’s stuff that would need to be looked at to be within the library, to qualify for this grant,” said Lynn McIntyre, with Cedar Corp.

The grant is in the amount of $4.25 million, which would pay for construction, as well as broadband and computers within the building, and to cover the engineering.

“You don’t necessarily have to have an out-of-pocket cost, so long as your project comes in under $4.25 million,” said Mc-Intyre.

Currently, the project is estimated at $3 million, but the village or library would have to provide a match for anything over the $4.25 million amount. There’s also the matter of a single audit that needs to be done, which could be expensive, and of the grant writing cost.

There is a grant for new construction or one for renovations, but because of a tight timeline, Cadott needs to just pick one, as the application is due by July.

“You have to be ready to go by that,” said McIntyre.

Scoring is based on project description, mission and how they relate to community services, along with need and outreach to benefit in the rural community. The library must also have a stainability plan, which takes place over five years.

“We just kind of feel like this is too great of an opportunity to pass by,” said Library Board president Cookie Kaste. “We feel that we’ve got a good shot at it.”

Kaste sought permission from the board to go ahead with the plans to build along State Hwy. 27 on Mill Street. Kaste knows that some people don’t like that site, but the WisDOT doesn’t feel traffic is a problem.

Village board president Randy Kuehni admitted it’d be foolish not to try for the grant, but the site gives him pause, since many have expressed that they do not want the library to move from its Main Street position.

“I can’t imagine the people in Cadott, getting a free library, and being disappointed with it or not happy with it, especially when it’s got to go somewhere,” said Kaste.

“Are we fully aware of what the future holds, cost-wise, for the village?” asked village board trustee Ronnie Duncan.

Kaste says the village contributes about $50,000, annually, which doesn’t even pay the employees, so it is then up to the trustees on how to raise the remainder of the money. However, she’s not sure about the first year of utility costs, but with pledges of support, she’s not worried about it.

“We’re not planning to ask for more money of the village board,” said Kaste.

Kuehni reminded her that village employees will not take part in the cleaning, upkeep and snow removal, which Kaste was aware of, “That location, to me, is just not right,” said village trustee Louie Eslinger, adding that while he believes in having a library for the community, he’d like to see other options that provide safer access.

Kaste said the traffic issue would really only be during the drop-off and pick-up times for the elementary school, but Eslinger says crossing the highway is more his concern.

“I think we’re blessed there aren’t more accidents that happen there,” he said.

It was agreed by the board that they wish the library to continue to look for an alternate location before the next board meeting, as they would still have enough time to apply for the grant, if they feel they want to go ahead with the application process.

They also heard a proposal from Bowe Development, who would like to buy land on North Main Street, subdividing at least three lots.

“So, there’d be seven lots, is what my whole plan would be,” said Coy Bowe. “It’s kind of what direction you guys want to go.”

There’s no sanitary or water on the sites, and the village would have to update their Comprehensive Plan, and may have to rezone to R-1 Residential and compete a plat. That would require a public hearing as part of the process.

Those involved will check on the water protection area, and go from there, to see if the board is open to the project, before Bowe pursues purchasing the property.

The board did approve a Certified Survey Map, for Shawn Kromrey, allowing for possible sale or development of his property in the future.