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Published: Wednesday, 10/19/2005

Bedford Township votes to build a town hall

TEMPERANCE - After wrangling with the issue for years, Bedford Township will build a new township hall behind its present township hall in the coming years.

At their meeting last night, township board members agreed unanimously to abandon plans to purchase a church at Temperance and Secor roads and instead build a township hall on land the township now owns.

"I [estimated] around $1.1 million to get us in [Harvest Christian Assembly], and we would have a 15-year-old building with a septic tank and well," Trustee Dennis Steinman said. "For another $200,000 or $300,000, we could have a brand new township hall really where we should be."

Township Supervisor Walt Wilburn has led a charge over the last year to replace the township's 40-year-old township hall on Jackman Road, just south of Dean Road.

The building - built when the township's population was roughly a third of its current size - is cramped and extremely energy-inefficient.

Township officials have been saving money toward eventual purchase or renovation of a township hall.

The township has about $1.1 million in reserve to dedicate toward a hall, Mr. Wilburn said.

Board members said they agreed that the long-term interests of the township were better served by building.

"We were looking at three separate options, and we were trying to find the best option at the best price that would afford us a future here as a township hall," Clerk Bob Schockman said.

Board members said they would require that the sheriff's substation be included as part of any design for a new hall.

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