City Plan Commission Votes To Demolish Old Middleton Outreach Ministry Building

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MTT News Desk's picture
Cameron Bren

The Middleton Plan Commission views demolition as the most reasonable course of action for the former Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) headquarters due to its deteriorating condition.  Despite a request for proposals from developers made by the city earlier this year, there has been no interest in renovating the aging building, commissioners learned last week.  

MOM left the building late last year in an effort to consolidate services and forego   the costly maintenance needed to remain operational.  The site was acquired by the city earlier using tax increment financing (TIF).  The purchase was for the purpose of future parking needs and potential redevelopment downtown.   

The request for proposals involved a long-term lease keeping the property in the city’s possession with no option to buy outright. 

With no one willing to lease the building the commission was left with only a few options.   If city leaders leave it as is it’s likely the pipes and boiler will freeze and break.  The cost of blowing out all plumbing and heating lines is $1,200, according to some estimates.  Another option is to maintain the building’s temperature at 50°.  The estimated cost for that option is about $4,000 through the winter.  Another potential drawback is the site would likely attract vermin. 

The city could also make the space livable in order to rent out.  This option comes with a $35,000 price tag just to meet the basic legal requirements.

The final and ultimately most persuasive option for the commission is demolition, commissioners decided.  The city received two estimates for the demolition, both at about $100,000. 

Abby Attoun, assistant director of community development, mentioned an email she received from  Jeff Kramer, a local developer once interested in the site.  Kramer said in the email he had a demolition quote of $26,000 - a price Mayor Sonnentag jumped at.  Unlike the other two estimates, that cost does not include backfilling, repairing or replacing the sidewalk, or restoring the site.  

“My position from the beginning has been to tear it down,” said Sonnentag, “We bought the property to be able to control that property.  Selling it doesn’t make any sense at this point.  Why did we buy to begin with?” 

“If we can get it torn down for 26,000, I’d like to get it torn down and get the hole filled in and make grass out of it until we decide what we want to do with it longer term, just so it is not a nuisance,” the mayor continued.

The commission made a recommendation to the city council to demolish the building and include the cost in the 2014 capital budget.  The city will also seek additional quotes for the demolition.  

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