Construction of a new civic building in Twisp is looking unlikely this year due to a delay in processing a federal grant application for $1.25 million, Mayor Soo Ing-Moody told the Twisp Town Council last week.
The town had submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the grant, which would support about one-third of the total estimated costs for the civic building. However, the town was recently informed by USDA that more information is required.
“We need to more fully submit the application,” Ing-Moody said. She said the request was unexpected. “It was no fault of the town, but it does set us back.”
A $750,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to the town “depends on this grant to retain it,” she said. The town has also received $1.75 million in funding from the Washington state Legislature’s capital budget over the past three years. That funding has helped the town move ahead with design, relocate a public works shop that adjoined town hall, and construct a new public works shop near the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
The cost of the civic building from design through construction is estimated to be $3.1 million. Actual construction costs are about $2.7 million. The town needs to line up all necessary funding before moving ahead, Ing-Moody said.
She said she expects that Twisp will remain “in the queue” for the USDA grant and the town is working to submit the required application. But the delay may prevent beginning construction this year.
“Based on the short construction season in the Methow, this may delay us for a year,” Ing-Moody told the council. She said she has asked architects who are working on plans for the new building to put further work on hold for the time being.
The proposed new 8,632-square-foot building will be constructed at the site of the existing town hall, which has significant structural and functional problems and will be razed for the new building. In addition to housing town administrative offices and police headquarters, the civic building is also being designed to serve as an emergency operations center for the valley.