Town of Holland
supervisors approve land purchase for town hall

Brian Roebke photo
Olivia Vander Heiden and Mariah Herron of Alliance Construction attended the Town of Holland meeting with plans for the construction of the new town hall building.

By Brian Roebke
Supervisors approved signing an offer to purchase vacant land from Brown County at the corner of Highway 57 and Holland Road at last week’s monthly meeting at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown.
Town Attorney Alex Sickel presented a revised offer to purchase with terms the county wanted included. The biggest change was reducing the size of the parcel from seven acres to six, cutting off an acre parcel south of the creek that’s a flood plain. This drops the purchase price by $11,000 from $77,000 to $66,000 for the new town hall building to replace the dilapidated structure in Askeaton.
The Brown County board of supervisors will review the purchase on Feb. 21.
They are asking for a closing date on or before March 31, with the buyer to pay costs to create a new parcel, and equally share the appraisal cost, which was previously approved.
The sale is subject to final approval by the Brown County board of supervisors.
Olivia Vander Heiden and Mariah Herron of Alliance Construction attended the meeting, bringing along the floor plans drawn up by Alliance Construction. The town board had been working with Alliance for about a month, holding several meetings with them.
Supervisors approved unanimously acceptance of the floor plans for the 3,800 sq. ft. building and have Alliance come up with a cost to make architectural drawings for the construction bid. Alliance can operate as construction manager at a cost to be determined.
Mark Cleven had also presented a plan that was not acted on. He, along with any other contractors, can bid on the construction of the facility that has a meeting area of 85 occupants, with occupancy for 58 seats with tables in the 37×34 ft. area.
Other amenities are offices, break room, kitchenette, storage, eight voting booths, and garage space.
The exterior includes timbers, stone, and other finishes to be selected.
The building would face Highway 57, with driveway access from Holland Road and parking between the building and highway.
No stormwater ponds must be built because the size of the pavement and building will not exceed the 20,000 sq. ft. threshold for that.
The next step for the town is to create a Request For Proposal to put out for bids and present plans to the state with an estimated $8-10,000 cost.
When asked by an audience member how the town will pay for this, Town Treasurer Gloria Kennedy said the is landfill generating income of about $800,000 a year and the town already has money set aside. The town will likely need a short-term building loan that can be paid off in just a few years.
Clerk Ellen Schmidt-Hubers received five requests from residents wanting two or more garbage/recycle bins. Supervisors told her to arrange for that and charge those property the cost for an additional container and yearly pickup from Deyo.
Deyo charges $101.28 per dump location per year for garbage and $37.80 for recycling.
Schmidt-Hubers said the new .gov email addresses for her and Kennedy are not yet working and people should continue to use their gmail addresses for now.
The open book is April 4 at 9 a.m. and board of review April 29 at 8 a.m. at the town hall. The March monthly meeting moved to March 13 at 6:30 p.m. The voting machine test date is set for March 26 at 10 a.m. at Van Abel’s for the April 2 election.
Schmidt-Hubers asked the board if the town could charge for some of the special assessments the town does. “We do it for free, and it does take time to actually do it. Other towns charge something,” she said.
Zoning Administrator Matt Scholze said the town doesn’t charge for Certified Survey Maps either.
Supervisors suggested putting this on the agenda for next month’s meeting.
In his town chairman report, Mike Smits started with some good news. “There weren’t any signs stolen this month,” he said.
He added the state has a program for replacing culverts. An inspection can be done for about $1,200 and the state will reimburse that cost. The inspections are to be done this year, with approved replacements done in 2025.
The state also has a program for aid to towns for agricultural road improvements within one mile of large farms that are causing damage to roads that are labeled Class B.
Smits thinks the town has two such roads.
In further discussion of town roads, Smits said he was pleasantly surprised trucks associated with the digester and landfill are using Highway IL and not town roads.
Geiger said one private carrier was using town roads but denied it, but after they were sent photos of their trucks on the roads, they stopped using them.
Geiger said anyone who sees them on town roads should contact him so it can be stopped.