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September 26, 2020

9/10/2020 8:49:00 AM
Ridgeway Plan Commission recommends Strang to do study

After deciding to recommend to the Village Board that Strang be hired to do a feasibility study on the Ridgeway Elementary School, a question was asked about what if the decision is made to not accept the offer to purchase from the Dodgeville School District.
"We certainly do not need to have a private contractor purchase it and turn it into slum apartments," said John Steen, commission chairman and Ridgeway Village President.
"We need to address what will happen if we do not take the building," he added, suggesting if the decision is made not to purchase it will go on the Village Board agenda next month.
But for now, the plan is to recommend Strang and if the Village Board accepts it, the commission hopes work could start very soon. They hope to have the information they need by the end of November as the board has to commit to the purchase by December 5.
Strang was on every member of the Planning Commission's list and was the number one choice of several. The fact that Strang is local (Madison) weighed heavily in the decision and in the words of commission member Anne Larson, "They get it." Larson was impressed with the passion that their representative showed for the project.
Some commission members visited an atrium project Strang did in Madison and heard from people the company worked with they were very well thought of during and after completion.
Other firms considered heavily were MSR and Samuels.
"I appreciate the work the commission did in getting the questions out and answered," Steen said.
It was noted later in the meeting that if the Village Board gives the go ahead at their meeting next Tuesday, the commission will no doubt have to hold several meetings the next few months.
The process started in June when the Dodgeville School District closed the Ridgeway campus. The village then surveyed the residents in July and August and reviewed the findings. Many responding did not want to lose the building as it had served as a school since 1939 and it is felt it could be put to good use as a focal point of the community.
Companies were then contacted to bid on providing a feasibility study with September 1 (regular commission meeting) as the date to make a formal recommendation.
If all goes well the Village Board will close on the purchase by January 4. After that it will be moving into the contractor phase and applying for grants.
In other business at Tuesday's meeting the Planning Commission adopted an ordinance that will deal with unauthorized construction projects such as unapproved culverts and set the penalties.
An unauthorized culvert that was placed in Cardinal Way will be discussed by the Village Board at their next meeting.

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