Chippewa County Historical Center takes step forward

Chippewa County Historical Center takes step forward

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The Chippewa County Historical Society’s proposed $3.5 million building project took another step forward Tuesday night.

The Chippewa Falls City Council voted to approve a certified survey map for the planned Chippewa Area History Center building, which is slated to be constructed at 12 Bridgewater Ave. alongside the southern entrance to Irvine Park.

As part of the survey, the council has decided to combine two lots into a single parcel. The survey map was approved, contingent on paying review fees and the approval of a stormwater management plan.

The Chippewa County Historical Society was formed in 1969 and has operated out of a building at 123 Allen St., on the city’s East Hill. However, that location hasn’t suited its needs, and it lacks wheelchair and handicap accessibility, members have said.

The organization has been working on plans for a new facility for several years and they purchased the property on Bridgewater Avenue in 2015. They have about $2.5 million between pledges and cash on hand, and they are hopeful of beginning construction this fall.

The proposed historical society building is on the site of a former Dairy Queen restaurant, which the group tore down in April 2016. It last operated as a Piff’s Pizza.

Also Tuesday night, the city council voted unanimously to borrow $2.93 million for a variety of projects.

The money will be used for:

  • Refunding bonds, $870,000.
  • Street improvement projects, $875,000.
  • Sewer projects, $725,000.
  • Fire department equipment, $255,000.
  • Construction of a building to house machinery and equipment, $210,000.

The vote allows city finance manager Lynne Bauer to sell bonds in consultation with the city’s financial advisor, Ehlers & Associates Inc.

“I appreciate the hard work everyone has done at this point,” Mayor Greg Hoffman said after the series of resolutions were approved.

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