New city of Polo, Buffalo Township municipal building halfway done

The new Polo City Hall/Buffalo Township Hall is taking shape. The building is located at 118 N. Franklin Ave., about two blocks north of the current city and township halls.

POLO – Work on a new joint municipal building for the city of Polo and Buffalo Township is more than halfway complete.

Both municipalities are contributing to the cost of the $1.93 million building, which is located at 118 N. Franklin Ave., about two blocks north of the current city and township halls.

“The progress is surprising me, as much as they’ve gotten done,” Buffalo Township Supervisor Phil Fossler said. “It’s now pretty much down to the inside work, which is going to take a long time.”

The foundation and under-slab plumbing and electric is complete, as is the concrete for the floors, project superintendent Emery Harmon said. Harmon works for Irving Construction Co. Inc., which is based in DeKalb.

“We poured the concrete floor a while ago,” he said. “We put the walls up and the tresses and the plywood on the roof.”

On Monday, construction crews were in the process of installing “mechanicals,” which are things such as plumbing, electric, heating, etc., hidden in the walls or attic of a building, Harmon said.

They should be able to put insulation and fireproof drywall in on the ceilings by the end of this week, he said. The walls should receive the same treatment next week, Harmon said.

“We’re getting prepared to do the roofing and siding over the next few weeks,” he said.

The roofing material has arrived, and he’s hoping the siding material will arrive by Friday, Harmon said.

Construction on the new municipal building, which will be 4,800 square feet, began in March. The new building will include off-street parking, which neither Polo City Hall nor Buffalo Township Hall currently has.

Both the city and township struggle with old, too-small municipal buildings.

The current Buffalo Township Hall was built in 1896, and there are continual upkeep costs, Fossler said. Having a new building that’s not going to require much maintenance for several years to come is “quite a plus,” he said.

“In this day and age, the smaller entities like the township and the city, in a rural area like ours, we need to stand together and work together,” Fossler said. “If we don’t, we’re going to be … forgotten. The cooperation with this building shows we are sticking together and standing together to get something done.”

When the Polo City Council goes into closed session, attendees must wait outdoors until they finish discussions. City staff and officials also have been making note of the leaky roof for several years.

City of Polo officials are looking forward to the additional space, Mayor Doug Knapp said.

“We don’t even have handicap bathrooms [at the current City Hall], and this gives us those facilities and a nice conference room,” Knapp said. “Having Buffalo Township in there with us, that’s really nice. It’s great that we’re on those kinds of terms that we can work out of shared facilities.”

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.