LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) - After years of planning, financing and construction, the new Lake Hallie municipal building is up and running.
Village staff says more space and convenience are the biggest benefits of the new building, but although it's open, there's still work to be done.
With some work to do, the Lake Hallie Police Department and the village offices packed up and moved across the street to their new combined municipal building this week.
Village president John Neihart said the new building offers many things the old fire and police stations didn't.
“We didn't have facilities for on duty staff, showers, restrooms, separate sleeping quarters, all those things were all combined into one room,” Neihart said.
Village staff says another benefit is the convenience and efficiency of having everything in one place.
“People go into the village hall looking for the police department, now we're all right here, so if somebody comes over and wants to make a complaint, or needs to pay a water bill and walks in the wrong door, that's just around the corner,” Lake Hallie Police Sgt. Dan Sokup said.
“We'll be able to share the costs instead of having everything separate like we do now with the 2 buildings,” Village clerk and treasurer Leanne Addy said.
The police department still has technical issues to correct, and with some construction work left, the fire department has yet to move into the building.
“There's the humidity level that's a little high in that area right now. For the flooring to go down,” Addy said.
Neihart said he expects the project to stay under its $4.5 million budget.
Lorie Hewitt of Lake Hallie said her taxes went up by about $100 a year after the project was approved, but that having the new building is worth it.
“The building is just great compared to the other one.” “You feel a lot safer knowing they're more comfortable also.”
“It’s a little bit of a shot going from what we were in to coming into here and everything's kind of reorganized so trying to figure out where everything was and where everything is now, I think we'll work through it,” Sokup said.
Police said their department will benefit from a new patrol room, with more desks and lockers they didn't have before. Neihart said he expects to have an open house for people to tour the building, in late July or early Aug.