By Jef Rietsma
Years of meticulous budgeting and vigilant planning bore fruit last month as Village President Tim Frisbie and council members participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Vicksburg’s new municipal building.
Located north of the village water tower on North Richardson Street, the $2.5 million complex is expected to be open by February 2024.
A parade of local dignitaries attended the April 24 groundbreaking and acknowledged the village’s tenacious budgeting. The project is being financed with cash on hand.
Frisbie said the need for a new village office would be tough to overstate.
“We outgrew our current village hall quite some time ago but we managed to make it work all this time while we addressed other critical needs in this community,” he said.
Frisbie said the new municipal hall will be ADA-compliant. It will feature enough space to accommodate all facets of the village’s police department, large enough for staff to conduct day-to-day operations and – most importantly, he said – provide proper room to host village council and other village-related meetings.
“That will eliminate the need to rent off-site facilities,” Frisbie added. “This building will not only serve our community of today, but the citizens of tomorrow long into the future. Today is, indeed, a great day.”
The lineup of speakers included Village Manager Jim Mallery, a number of Kalamazoo County officials, State Sen. Sean McCann, and representatives on behalf of U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg and State Rep. Matt Hall.
Mike Frederick, owner of Vicksburg-based Frederick Construction, said his company is pleased to play such a large role in assembling a building that will be a part of Vicksburg for a number of generations.
“My wife and I would certainly like to thank Jim (Mallery), village staff and council members for allowing us to participate and be part of this great new building,” he said, before acknowledging key employees who were on hand. “Without them, we wouldn’t be standing here today. It takes a good team to be successful and we look forward to getting this building underway, and bringing it in under budget and on time.”
Mallery said planning for the new facility started in 2016. By January 2018, council members began setting aside funds dedicated exclusively toward covering the cost of a new municipal building.
In January 2022, village officials debated whether to purchase new property and build, look for an existing building to renovate, or consider building new on village-owned property. Ultimately, council members a chose to build on the west side of Richardson Street the water tower.
Passage of a resolution in March made the project official, leading up to last month’s ceremonial ground breaking.
A licensed demolition crew will eventually raze the existing village hall but not until after the new facility is constructed and open for business.
Mallery said village taxpayers will save between $1.5 million and $2 million over the course of a typical 30-year bond because the project is being paid with cash.
By Jef Rietsma