The Viroqua City Council approved conditional use of property located at 124 W. Decker St. for construction of the new City Hall building at its regular virtual meeting, Tuesday, April 13.
The property is located east of the current City Hall building. City Administrator Nate Torres said the reason for conditional use is because the new building will be located within the B-1 Central Business District zone. The city’s zoning ordinance defines “government administration facilities” as a “conditional use” rather than simply a “permitted use” for that particular zone.
Torres said the new building would be used for council meetings, elections, community meeting space, administrative offices and a safe room in the lower level to withstand strong winds and tornadoes.
In an email after the meeting, Torres said, “The difference between the two use categories is that a conditional use requires another layer of city approval. The developer must submit a conditional use application. The proposed project is then reviewed for approval at both Plan Commission and Common Council in which both meetings include a public hearing.”
“The city, like any other developer, is required to follow the process as a means to provide community stakeholders with ample opportunity for advocacy and oversight,” Torres continued in the email.
A public hearing on conditional use of the property was held prior to the council’s vote. No one from the public commented during the hearing. The Plan Commission also held a public hearing Monday, April 12.
The city council approved the application for Class B beer and Class C wine licenses for Ridgeland Restorations LLC doing business as Historic Fortney.
City Clerk/Treasurer Lori Polhamus said the room is at the corner of Main and Court streets. She said the licenses are only until the end of June and Ridgeland Restorations LLC would need to reapply.
Alderperson Tanja Birke asked Brian Wrobel of Ridgeland Restorations LLC what would be served. Wrobel said they are calling the area a lounge, which would be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Local beers, wine and appetizers would be served. He said there would be no televisions or internet. “People can come and talk with each other and we can show off the building,” Wrobel said.
Polhamus said the Public Safety Committee wondered when the lounge would open. Wrobel said the plan is to open the week of June 1. “Everything is on track at this point and that’s our initial plan right now.”
Struck and Irwin were approved by the council as the low bid for micro-surfacing (seal coating) for $38,576.90 for Willow Street, Garfield Avenue, 16th Fairway Drive and 16th Fairway Circle.
Alderpersons appointed Brian Ekern to a five-year term on the Police and Fire Commission, expiring May 1, 2026, replacing Wayne Sherry. They also appointed Kristal Welter as council representative to the Plan Commission for a three-year term expiring May 1, 2024, replacing Terry Noble.
The council recognized Todd Kirking, street superintendent, for 31 years of service to the city of Viroqua.
Angela Cina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.