Future site of Kwik Trip

 Since 2005, this building has served the public as Barron City Hall and the offices of the city Police Department. The city intends to sell the building to La Crosse-based Kwik Trip. Photo by Bob Zientara

A relocation of the City of Barron municipal center and subsequent building of a new Kwik Trip convenience store has been pushed back one year.

Increased expenses to build a new city hall and city shop at the former Family Dollar property downtown prompted a steering committee for the project to look at other options, city administrator Liz Jacobson reported at the Tuesday, April 13, City Council meeting.

“We took another good hard look at site selection,” she said. “We settled on the idea that we need to go to the industrial park, as we own that land and it’s ready to build.”

The City is set to do soil borings on an interior lot at the northeast corner of Guy Avenue as a likely spot for the shop.

Jacobson said that lot was selected because it would be the least desirable to potential businesses in the industrial park.

With the shift, Jacobson said the city isn’t in position to bid the project for this construction season, so bidding and construction will be pushed to 2022.

She said Kwik Trip has agreed to the delayed timeline.

The City will look to work out the final details of selling the current municipal center to the La Crosse-based company this fall. Closing city hall is anticipated for October of next year—possibly later, as late as April 2023—with Kwik Trip to take over the property thereafter.

Work will still proceed this year on prepping 508 E. La Salle Avenue for a new city hall.

At Tuesday’s meeting the Council approved a motion to designate up to $55,520 to have the former Family Dollar razed and to contract Market & Johnson as project manager for the site.

Other business

• The Council accepted a bid for $1,329,188 from Thorp-based Haas Sons, Inc. for reconstruction of La Salle Avenue from 7th Street to Memorial Drive. It is one phase of a three-phase project to improve La Salle Avenue in coming years.

• Jacobson informed the Council that the City is projected to receive $328,000 from the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 federal relief bill passed last month. She said the city will begin brainstorming and prioritizing possible uses for the funds. The City has through 2024 to use the money.

• The Council approved a $55,878 loan to the Barron Golf Club for a Toro fairway mower. As part of the agreement the municipal golf course operator will pay off $31,428 of an existing line of credit.

• The Council approved a funding request for the Barron Pool for $10,000. The city is essentially covering that amount as the pool awaits the second of two $10,000 payments from Jennie-O, expected in 2022.

• The Council gave final approval for a conditional use permit for the transitional housing unit—or tiny home—at the International Church of Foursquare Gospel on Hwy. 8.