Shamrock Township says ‘NO’ to building
by Angie Johnson | August 8, 2006
In the biggest turnout in Shamrock Township meeting
history, residents overwhelmingly voted ‘NO’ on the proposed town
hall/maintenance building. Fifty-four “yes’s” and 149 “no’s” at the
continuation of the annual meeting on August 3rd put an end to the debate over
the proposed $1.4 million building project… for now.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board,” said Shamrock
Township Chairman Ron Smith. “There has to be some sort of a building for our
equipment. It can’t sit outside.”
The sticker shock that stalled progress on new building
proposals years ago again came into play Thursday night. When it came time to
vote, the motion prepared by Township Attorney Peter Tiede said building costs
would not exceed $1.6 million, while the previous estimate was $1,433,610.43.
The $1.6 million included financing costs; the $1.4 million was construction
costs only. The $200,000 gap made little difference, however.
Terry Roy, a resident opposed to the 10,553-square foot
building, received a round of applause for his statement, “We don’t need a
Donald Trump building.” Terry said Big Sandy Lodge built a structural steel
building for $650,000. He suggested constructing a less expensive building in
The building, however, is not comparable to Shamrock’s
proposed building because of the additional regulations to which government
buildings are subjected. Shamrock Supervisor Nancy Karjalahti commented after
the meeting, saying that the building Terry was referring to is not
finished—there is a dirt floor and no heat or electricity in portions of it.
(Big Sandy Lodge was unavailable for comment to verify any statements made
about their building.)
Despite assurances by the construction manager—Construction
Analysis and Management (CAM)—that the project has a conservative price and
that it would not come in over budget, residents just couldn’t stomach higher
taxes. Taxes would have increased approximately $49 per year for a $200,000
Residents were also assured by architect John Geissler
and Supervisor Karjalahti that all the unnecessary spaces were cut from the
building plan. “The original was twice the size,” Nancy said. “We started in
1999 and presented a building for $500,000. Through the years, the price has
gone up and the [proposed] building has gotten smaller.”
Though the project was rejected, a portion of residents’
taxes are still going toward a future building project—about $39 per year on a
$200,000 home. Residents are also paying $45,000 to $50,000 in architect and
engineer fees to DSGW Architects for the work they have already done on the
building. CAM takes no fee for the work they have done in estimating
“We are in a catch-22,” Nancy said. “The citizens have
said no. They would sooner pay for repairs [on maintenance equipment]. The
Shamrock Township citizens feel Shamrock is not worthy of a building, as far as
I can see. [But] we’ll start over.”
“It will be back,” said Shamrock resident Liz Krezowski.
“And it will be more expensive.”
Prior to the vote, the possibility of Shamrock becoming
an urban township was discussed. “We felt we didn’t have enough information to
make a decision,” said Dave Schaaf, the urban township task force chairman.
An urban township task force meeting is scheduled for
Saturday, August 19, at 10 a.m. The committee plans to hold two or three public
hearings—prior to the annual meeting in March—when they have enough
This article first appeared in the August 8, 2006 issue
of the Voyageur Press.