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While it’s taken longer than expected, suds could be flowing in Columbus this spring.

Tyler Walker, co-owner of Cercis Brewing Company, updated the Columbus City Council on the brewery’s timeline to open during the March 6 meeting at city hall. The city is working with the brewery on funding through the Revolving Loan Program.

Cercis was planning to open last fall. However, due to licensing and renovation of the nearly 100-year-old building at 140 N. Dickason Blvd., it’s opening has been delayed. Walker said he understands the community is eagerly anticipating the brewery’s opening and told the council progress is being made every day.

“I would say we’re about seven to maybe 10 days from brewing on site,” Walker said.

While he wouldn’t commit to a firm date, Walker said Cercis plans to open in five or six weeks. Cercis will feature home brews passed down through family recipes.

Walker said Cercis’ ownership team is committed to Columbus and hopes the brewery will turn into a local attraction. The building, constructed in 1920, has the space, charm and appeal to house a brew pub. He envisions Cercis becoming similar to Octopi Brewing in Waunakee. Octopi is a contract brewing company that invested $5 million in state of the art brewing equipment and produces more than 15,000 barrels per year.

Property lease approved

Council members approved a two-year lease agreement with GD Roberts/Fisk, a Columbus manufacturing company.

Through the agreement, the company will lease a large portion of the building which once housed the Countryside Ford dealership at 1149 W. James St. The city, which owns the building, plans to develop it into a new fire station in a few years.

City officials and representatives from GD Roberts/Fisk believe the agreement suits both parties well. The company can use the facility to ease space concerns for a couple years while paying rent to the city.

Mayor Michael Thom said the city would be on the hook for about $6,200 in roof repairs, but its currently looking into other options to lower cost. GD Roberts/Fisk would pay for $500,000 in liability insurance, but the structure would be insured by the city.

“I think it’s perfect timing for the city,” said Council Member Trina Reid. “I really don’t see a better opportunity for either coming up.”

DOT highway work begins soon

Thom said work along Highway 16 and 151, a Wisconsin Department of Transportation project, will begin soon.

“Mobilization on that project should begin in the next week or two,” Thom said. “They probably would have started already but they’ve been delayed a little bit with the weather.”

The project will address repairs to the on and off ramps along Highway 16 and 151.

Thom also said the Columbus Recycling Center will open for the season March 24. The center will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from late March to early December.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, members discussed possible changes to sewer and street projects. The changes would improve the wastewater treatment center, but would cost much less than building a water filtration system at the station.

Contact Kevin Damask at 608-963-7323 or on Twitter @kdamask