After St. Germain electors  overwhelmingly defeated a proposed $6.8 million expansion and remodeling project for the St. Germain Community Building in late August, the town board held a special meeting last Thursday for new direction.

With more than 500 residents turning out to vote on the proposed project, the meeting Thursday was only attended by 29 citizens, correspondents for two local newspapers and the town board.

Town residents rejected the proposal Aug. 30 on a 403-100 vote. The town board backed the plan which included removing the Red Brick Schoolhouse, remodeling the Community Center, building an expo center and town offices, and relocating the lighted ball diamond.

Thursday’s meeting  turned into a two-hour listening session as town board members sought input from attendees on the future of the building project. 

Town Board Chairman Tom Christensen opened the public discussion by saying he was unsure about what road the board should take in fulfilling its stated mission to deal with the old Red Brick Schoolhouse, the current Community Center’s shortcomings and the need for additional meeting space.

The main concern of those present appeared to center around the wasted effort in demolishing useable and repairable buildings. That concern went hand in hand with a demand that the tax levy should not be increased to create all-new buildings.

Previous options presented by Funktion Design Studio (FDS) of Wausau, hired by the board with Community Development funds (room tax receipts) were reviewed.

The plan known as Option 1 was reviewed and a suggestion was made to remove the Community Center proposal to help control the cost. Also, it was noted Option 1 did not interfere with the lighted ball diamond.

Christensen concluded the meeting saying the town board would get cost estimates from FDS for Option 1 and with some changes suggested by the citizens in attendance.

While the next town board meeting is set Monday, Sept. 10, supervisors scheduled another special meeting for Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. to further discuss the outcome of  Thursday’s suggestions.