RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande Village Council and officials during their Tuesday meeting discussed the potential for making improvements on the municipal building further in the future, or building a new structure, as officials look over quotes for roof repair.
Having received on estimate already and looking at another, officials say the roof of the village building is reportedly leaking.
Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter asked Rio Grande Firefighter Tim Hemmerick to discuss potential funding options to address the leaks. Hemmerick said he had contacted State Representative Ryan Smith’s Office about the possibility of utilizing state funding for municipal building improvements. Hemmerick replied that he felt the response from the office was positive but that funding would likely need attached to the passage of an appropriation bill.
“Between Josh (Davies) and I, we figured it would cost about $1.2 million (for improvements) between the fire station, the police station and village hall (municipal building) and we’d have to attach some kind of community room to that which I think would make good sense,” said Hemmerick. “We’d have to look at this (municipal building) as it was built in (the 1920s), I think. It takes a lot more money to keep it up than its worth. The US (Department of Agriculture) has some funds available and probably in the form of a loan. I believe there’s money out there to put in a package to do it.”
Davies said the reasoning for considering the addition of a community room was because the room’s inclusion could also make applying for grant and state funding an easier process.
“If people have meetings, they can use those rooms,” said Rio Grande Police Chief Josh Davies. “If not just for a government entity, it can open it up a bit to the public more and it’s more likely you’ll get funding for it.”
Hemmerick and Easter agreed it may not be possible for the state to appropriate funds until the early 2020s. Tearing down the old village building in order to build another or to make severe modifications could also pose a few challenges as officials say it is reportedly on historical registries.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.