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City hall leases move Library Block forward
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A pair of Platteville Common Council votes may pave the way for the closing on the last piece of the Library Block as early as this week.

In a special meeting Dec. 29, the council unanimously approved a lease for Municipal Building space for the Neighborhood Health Partners clinic, which is vacating its current space, then moving into the current Platteville Public Library building when the entire project is completed.

The clinic will be moving into the vacated police department space on the east side of the first floor of the Municipal Building, with the entrance on Mineral Street. The clinic’s lease is through the end of 2017.

The lease is with the developer, Miners Development LLC, which in turn will sublease the space to the clinic. The city is not charging the developer for rent, and the developer will not be charging rent to the clinic, according to city officials.

The clinic, owned by the Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Program, is the last piece of non-public property not owned by the Library Block developer. The south side of West Main Street between South Elm Street and South Chestnut Street is where the library part of the project will be.

The clinic will be making about $60,000 in renovations in order to move to the Municipal Building, including installing sinks and plumbing in three rooms for exam space and a pharmacy.

“There’s going to be to be significant plumbing [work] that needs to happen,” said Director of Public Works Howard Crofoot.

The council also unanimously approved a revision to the city’s lease with the Platteville Main Street Program, which had been using the first floor to sublease to a startup owned by UW–Platteville students. The startup will be moving to the former police dispatch space on the first floor.

“Basically, it’s the same terms and conditions; just a different part of the building,” said City Attorney Brian McGraw.

The startup is expected to move back to its current space after the clinic moves into its new space. City Manager Karen Kurt said the Main Street Program was suspending its search for additional incubator tenants until the clinic moves out of the Municipal Building.

The special meeting was held because the leases needed to be in place before the closing, which as of last week was scheduled to be held Thursday, though Kurt said the date may change.

“They weren’t actually able to reach a deal with the clinic until Christmas Day or the day after Christmas Day,” said Kurt.

“Why was it so late with the clinic?” asked District 4 Ald. Ken Kilian. “Why has this dragged on so long?”

“We weren’t a party to the negotiations,” said Kurt.

“It seems that deadlines focus people’s attention,” said McGraw. “I’m sure that Troy [Hoekstra, the developer] has an explanation, and I’m sure the clinic has an explanation, and I’m not sure which one is right.”