An $85,000 bid to fix the foundation of the Genoa Town Church was approved 4-0 by members of the town board on Wednesday.
Native firm Genoa Co. was the sole bidder on the project that has been the subject of discussion for more than a year.
At one point, estimates to repair the church, which was built after the 1910 fire, shot upwards to $1.1 million.
That led Genoans to seek a significant slice of American Rescue Plan Act from commissioners in 2022, but they were approved for $45,500 to conduct engineering on the project.
A subsequent inspection of the foundation by Genoa Co. owner Roger Falcke and Town Board member Brian Crowe revealed there was far less water damage than expected.
Falcke said the company conducted work on the church in 1993, and that things weren’t that bad.
After new Genoa residents Eric and Maigorzata Nichol pledged the efforts of the engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol, they returned to county commissioners who approved shifting the $45,500 from planning to construction.
The town was prepared to provide the rest of the cost from its construction fund, but Friends of Genoa have donated $28,000 to the cause, bringing it well into range.
Town Manager David Qualls said that fundraising to conduct other work on the church, such as repairing dry rot, painting and landscaping.
“We are doing everything we can to raise money for the church project,” he said on Thursday. “We even have a donated original watercolor of the church in it’s current condition. It is beautiful and will be used on the Candy Dance Poster this year. First time the church has been used for the poster. Additionally, it will be auctioned off during the Dinner Dance with all proceeds going to the church project.”
The last hurdle for the church project is review by the Genoa Historic Commission on June 21.
On Tuesday, members of the Douglas County Planning Commission will be discussing revisions to the ordinance governing the historic commission, which will celebrate its 50thyear in 2024.
The ordinance only affects commercial property in town.
The Historic Commission has been discussing revising regulations for the historic district for more than two years.