Former township building to house local business

DOVER TWP. — The new Dover Township Hall is nearing completion and will be ready to take on township business by Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The people of Dover Township passed a measure last November to construct a new township hall to replace the previous building which is more than a century old. The former building required extensive maintenance and was often unusable for township functions.

"We're getting an all new building for the cost of repairing the old one," remarked Dover Township Supervisor Cathy May. "Because of government regulations, if we would have started fixing one thing in the old building, we would have had to fix several things. This way, the residents of Dover Township have a space they can use, with new facilities without tearing down the old building. The voters voted for the new building and I think they will be pleased."

The new township hall has a new kitchen, heat and air conditioning, heated storage rooms, an extra bathroom, three offices and a generator. Many of these amenities were not present at the former building.

"The old building was getting so bad, we had to ask the neighboring church to use their space during elections," said May. "Now we have a building area residents can use for public events, it can serve as an emergency shelter and fulfill the needs of our citizens."

The former township hall building was sold to Amy Jo Prater and her business partner Jess Taylor who will use it as the new location for their business, The Plump Pumpkin.

The Plump Pumpkin has been in operation for eight years, during which Prater has worked out of her home in Ellsworth Township. The business sells pottery, soaps and wood crafts, and also will be showcasing the work of local artists. Next summer she said she hopes to begin phase two of her efforts and offer food and catering services.

"All of our products are old-world style hand-made products, so it's fitting for the business to be in a 100-year-old building," said Prater. "The building needs some work, but the community was very vocal about saving the building so I hope they support my restoration efforts. I'm open to suggestions from the community as I want people to know this will very much be a public space."

The sale of the building worked out for everyone according to May. By helping a local business, building a new township hall and selling the historically significant former building while still preserving it, she said everyone wins.

"We're going to be purchasing new tables, chairs and office furniture with the money we got from the sale of the hall," said May. "We'll be moving stuff in during the next two weeks and we'll have our next township meeting here on Dec. 9."

An open house for the new township hall will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 13.