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Board Voted to Use Grant Money for Public Restrooms at the Hose Tower

Despite being short in funds for the restrooms the board voted to use grant money.

The Village of Greendale unanimously voted on Tuesday night to use $29,383 of grant money to build public restrooms at the Historic Hose Tower in the Village Center.

For a few years now the Village and community members have been talking about building public restrooms in the Village Center.

Milwaukee County is an entitlement County and communities like Greendale receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Greendale will be receiving about $39,085. The Village will be using $9,702 for the Adult Program Services.

The grant can only be used to serve low to moderate-income persons, entitlement groups such as persons with disabilities and seniors, and are primarily limited to capital projects except for 15% that can be spent on public service projects. The project needs to be completed in 2012.

The Greendale Historical Society has been working towards launching a Capital Fundraising Campaign for the renovation of the Historic Hose Tower in Greendale. The Hose Tower and Grounds Building renovation is the first phase of a two-phase plan that will include restoration and renovation of the fire and police station. The society hopes to have the first phase completed by the village's 75th Anniversary celebration in 2013.

“The 75th Anniversary is coming up I can think of no better gift to give the Village than the completion of that Hose Tower as a community gathering space,” said resident Bill Attewell.

As part of the renovation president Ted Mainella asked the board to use the $29,000 towards handicap accessible restrooms at the Hose Tower so that the public can use them during events, such Village Days and Market Days. The society said that they have $25,000 to contribute towards the project.

Village Manager Todd Michaels and building inspector Scott Satula said it can cost anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000.  The project will probably still be short in funds, despite the $29,000 grant money and the society's $25,000. 

The bathrooms would need to be independent bathroom.  Trustee Greg Turay suggested constructing one unisex restroom. 

“Nothing is going to get done unless we get the money,” said Trustee Sally Chadwick. “They (Greendale Historical Society) can’t do it alone. We need a commitment and taking this CDBG money towards this is great and it’s going to help. But it’s still not enough. We as a, Village Board, have to make a commitment.”

Trustee Jim Birmingham brought up the fact that the Fire Department building needs to be renovated as well.  He said, “Next year there is going to be a serious lack of funds.”

Before voting on it Trustee Birmingham told Mainella, “If we use these funds we have to have a completed project in 2012. If you come up short and don’t finish it they are going to tear this down.”

Since the board won’t meet before the application July 28 deadline the board voted in favor of applying for the grant money to use for the public restrooms on Tuesday.

Before voting Village President John Hermes told the historical society, "We both know what monumental resource those two buildings are. Several years ago you took on this project with the ambition of raising a lot of money. Raising a lot of money within this community hopefully from those same taxpayers that support this government and the roads and buildings that now exist. For whatever reason and economy we have, people did not come forward to give that money. You have made it know tonight that you're ambitious about a new fundraising effort. I hope that it succeeds, but what if it doesn't it. Because this is when the Village is coming with a large shortfall of its own with the state mandated budget cuts coming our way."

There's a lot of ifs but I'm going to support it in any way I can. I hope it does succeed."

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