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Thomson breaks ground for new city hall

Nearly 100 years after the last city hall was constructed, and after 10 years of discussion about what to do about the run-down building, the city of Thomson has broken ground on a new facility.

"The council finally decided to go ahead with a new, energy-efficient building on Dalles Avenue," said city council member Ann Gustafson.

The one-story building, designed by Architectural Resources Inc. in Duluth, will incorporate a meeting area for 50 people, a kitchenette, an office and a restroom.

It will not be an extravagant structure, according to Gustafson.

"We tried to be fiscally responsible so that we wouldn't burden our citizens with a substantial tax increase," she said.

The cost to build is $240,000, to be paid for with a tax levy.

"The city has been working hard to create a plan of action for its infrastructure," she said.

Construction began on the new building in November and is slated for completion in March.

The hall will be primarily used for monthly council meetings and an office for the city clerk. The council will set guidelines for rental with minimal fees likely for Thomson residents and higher fees for others in the region.

"This is a very exciting time for the city," Gustafson said. "We are relieved to finally have something getting accomplished after such a long discussion time. We hope it will help attract more citizen participation and strengthen our community."

With a population of 162, Thomson's size may be small, but with its natural resources and new hall, the town is a substantial one, Gustafson said.

"Being located at the entrance of Jay Cooke State Park, with the Thomson Reservoir, St. Louis River and Munger bike trail in [our] backyard, [our] beauty and recreational opportunities [are more important] than size," she said. "Now with the addition of a new city hall, residents have even more resources at their doorstep to boast about.