By Lucia Suarez | STAFF WRITER
CASTLETON - Voters at town meeting will decide if they are willing
to spend $1 million to construct a new town office building. Select Board Chairman Thomas Ettori told close to 25 people gathered Monday night at the Castleton Senior Center that after reviewing three properties in town, the board felt the best option was to construct a new town office building. He said the new 4,520 square-foot building would sit on 5-acres of the Abbatiell property off of Route 30, just south of the current medical center. The building would be laid out in a way that a new fire department could be built next to the offices.
“We would be using the plans (done by NBF Architects last year) without the space for a meeting room or the fire department,” Ettori said. “We believe we can do it all for a hair under $1 million.”
According to a preliminary drawing by John Berryhill of NBF Architects, the building would be constructed on the northern side of the property, adjacent to the medical center. This would allow the town to use the access already constructed on the property.
The police department will have it’s own entrance to the building and approximately 31 parking spaces have been planned around the town
office building. If a fire station is constructed in the future, it would have its own direct access to Route 30.
“A lot of thought went into this property,” said Selectman EdwardO’Shea. “We have to look for the future. Not for me, but for my kids and your kids and your grandchildren.”
Ettori said the estimated $1 million figure includes the price topurchase the property - $125,000 - as well as $65,000 for sitedevelopment, $678,000 for building cost at $150 per square-foot, $65,000 for contingency, $60,000 for architectural management and $7,000 for permits.
This cost would amount to a yearly payment of about $66,600 over a 20-year bond. This would be just over 1 cent on the tax rate.
“If this were to pass, we would put town hall (at 556 Main Street) up for sale to bring down the payments,” Ettori said.
A vote on the bond is expected for town meeting. Ettori said the board will be making a final decision on the project at its next meeting Jan. 28 before it is advertised. He said they will hold a public meeting before the vote and expects to have a complete financial breakdown by then.
This will be the third townwide vote in a year on one of the town’s
most contentious issues. If the project were to move forward, Ettori
said a guess for the duration of the project would be a one year to a
year and a half, maybe more.