Work on structure damaged near West Allis Farmer's Market set to begin

CREATED May 8, 2014

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WEST ALLIS - The West Allis Farmer’s Market is open again for the season, but there’s still damage from an accident almost a year ago.  The city is hoping to start work on fixing the structure in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s been a slow start,” said vendor Jerry Wagner.

It hasn’t felt like farmer’s market weather until today, and Wagner is hoping for a great season.  He lost several business days last year after a woman accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes, and crashed into the historic structure.

“I was standing at the end of the ramp by my truck when the accident occurred,” Wagner said.

Since the accident, the city has been trying to figure out how to repair the structure.

“We started examining options after the accident to see, first off how much brick we could save, if we could rebuild it as is.  It’s very old, it’s historical brick,” said West Allis Mayor Dan Devine.

The city considered changing the structure, adding seating, but the mayor explains residents just want it the way it was.  It’s been hard finding bricks to fit in with the historic building.

“It’s hard for me to say it’s going to match up perfect, but we’re going to try the best we can to make it look as it did before,” Devine said.

Wagner is just hoping construction doesn’t last long.

“If we end up doing the reconstruction during our busy season, it’s also going to hurt our sales,” Wagner said.

The repairs will cost about $200,000 and the city is hoping insurance will pick up most of that bill.