Fire has destroyed a city hall under construction east of the Twin Cities, a building project that had divided public opinion.
Washington County sheriff's officials say firefighters were called to the construction site in Lakeland about 11:30 p.m. Sunday and found the partially-completed structure fully involved.
The new city hall had been debated in the community of about 1,800 for more than a year before the City Council decided to go ahead with construction.
The project was also an issue in the mayor's race. Mayor-elect Richard Glasgow wanted to preserve the historic city hall while his opponent, incumbent Amy Williams favored the new construction.
The Lower St. Croix Valley Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire.