Local village turns to donations for future construction

The Village of Summit in Waukesha County has an unusual request - it's asking for donations.

$600,000 in donations, to be exact.

The village is currently planning a new Village Hall complex that would be complete in early 2018. It will cost an estimated $7 million to build.

Village officials want to add on to the current plan, and are hoping private donors will pay for it.

The current Village Hall was built in 1954 and according to Board Trustee Curly Wentland, they village has wanted a new site for the last decade.

"We need a replacement bad," said Wentland. "Now we're looking at the prices for the whole thing and it's pretty scary."

The current Village Hall includes a downstairs community space used mostly by a local Boy Scouts troop and a senior citizens group.

To save money on the new complex, the board decided not to include that community space in their plan, as it would cost an additional $600,000.

"I'd really like to have that space but it's about 10 percent of the tab for the building," said Wentland. "So I thought maybe there was somebody in our community who would consider donating the money necessary for the build."

The money for the new complex is coming from village savings and the taxpayers who, according to Wentland, could see an average property tax increase of $150 to $200 per household.

But he said they would ensure any donations would go solely to the community space.

"We think of this in terms of a different kind of deal," said Wentland. "We're not going to ask a donor to pay for the police department or administration but this community space is for the community and to have someone who's moved enough to consider that, I think it's a terrific idea and it doesn't come into that complexity of 'am I funding government.'"

He said they would consider naming rights for donors. He also said if they don't raise the money for that space, the village would work out a way to share the new space with various community groups.

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