If everything goes smoothly, Solon Township will have a new township hall by this time next year.
The Solon Township Board recently approved preliminary plans for the construction of a 6,000-square-foot building, which will include new offices and a 2000-square-foot community room. The plans were developed by a committee of township residents.
“People really want a community room,” explained Solon Township Clerk John Rideout. The community room will be available for family gatherings and receptions.
Rideout said the building would be built just north of the old horse barn on Algoma, near Wiersma. Solon bought the 19 acres, at 15185 Algoma Avenue, 1-1/2 years ago after it came on the market as a tax foreclosure.
They estimate the new building will cost about $750,000. Rideout said the cost would be covered by funds in the township building fund, cash reserves and about $200,000 would be financed through an installment agreement. They said this would not result in any additional tax burden for the residents.
Rideout said that originally they thought they might be able to convert the old pole barn into either offices or a new fire department, but a site engineer found that it would be cost prohibitive to make it usable for those purposes. It will eventually be torn down. Last spring/summer they ran a farmer’s market/flea market out of the building, but aren’t yet sure if they will do it again this year.
Construction is expected to start in spring 2011 and be completed in the fall.
Future plans for the parcel have not yet been developed, but some of the ideas include construction of a new fire barn when funds become available, and for the back half to be used for recreational purposes, including baseball and soccer fields, and a walking trail.
Once the new township hall is built, the old one will be strictly used for firehouse purposes. The upstairs will be converted into offices for the fire chief and staff.
As far as voting precincts, precinct 1 will stay in the current offices, and precinct 2, now located in the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, will move into the new township hall.
Rideout said that they accepted an offer on the house next to the hall at the corner of Algoma and 19 Mile, and still have the parcel on White Creek, near Tractor Supply, up for sale. That parcel was originally purchased for a second fire station, before the 425 agreement with Cedar Springs went through. Cedar Springs Fire department now serves that area.