Trustee’s quest to bring old Bristol Town Hall back to use continues

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

A Bristol village trustee’s desire to make use of the old town hall building on Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park for some meetings or other events continues, but has met some obstacles along the way.

The Village Board has discussed Trustee John McCabe’s proposal at its last two meetings. Wednesday, McCabe said the outcome of those discussions is that any effort to bring the building back into a usable state would fall to an independent non-profit organization, not the village. Forming that group as a 501c3 will take some time — probably about 6 months — and some money, about $1,500, McCabe estimates.

McCabe has been talking about the possibility of using the historic building since September of 2012.

Discussions with Kenosha County, which owns the building and the land it currently sits on, have defined some of the obstacles involved in any use of the building.

Kenosha County currently uses the building for storage. The county does not oppose the building being renovated and used as McCabe envisions, but it has no funding for the project, McCabe said.

Leaving the building where it is would retain historical significance, McCabe said. But that location has no nearby parking and the closest restroom facilities are back at the Pringle Nature Center in the park, an about .75 of a mile walk down a nature trail.

McCabe has explored moving the building to another location to try to solve the parking/restroom/electricity problems. On Wednesday, Trustee Ruth Atwood said the Westosha Senior Community Center, located west of the current location also along Highway C, is receptive to having the building moved there, but does not want to incur any expense, such as a utility bill.

After a short discussion Wednesday, the board agreed to not take any action to continue to place the matter on the Village Board agenda for future meetings, unless McCabe saw a reason to do.

For his part, McCabe said he will continue on working on forming the organization to spearhead the old town hall project and raise any needed funds.

“It’s not the restoring part that’s the problem, it the long-term money,” McCabe said.

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