Longtime county and town leader Larry Kirchman attended his last meeting of the Kewaunee County Board as an elected official on Tuesday evening.
“After serving 16 years on the Algoma School Board, 34 years on the Lincoln Town Board, 16 years on the County Board, six years on the church council, this completes my political career,” Kirchman said to laughter and applause. “It’s been a pleasure working with all of you, and I wish you continued success.”
When Kirchman started on the County Board, the county had offices in six or seven different locations spread out around the county.
“Residents weren’t sure where to go for services,” he said; not one county-owned building was handicapped-accessible, and several offices were located in rented building with limited or no accessibility.
The board went to work, he said, starting with the purchase of the closed St. Mary’s Kewaunee Area Memorial Hospital at 810 Lincoln St., now known as the Kewaunee County Administration Center, and expanded it to centralize many offices. They renovated the courthouse and built an exhibition building at the fairgrounds in Luxemburg that also houses the Land & Water Conservation and Emergency Management offices.
Other accomplishments Kirchman cited included the establishment of Ryan and Blahnik parks, the purchase of the old Svoboda Clock factory to use as the Sheriff’s Deparment evidence storage facility, and an upgrade of the emergency services radio system.
“We can be proud of what we accomplished. Some say well, you dug a bit of a hole; these projects were enormous, and they did cost a lot of money, but they were needed.”