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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Cabot Going For New Town Garage

Town of Cabot
The Town of Cabot is hoping to replace its Town Garage, pictured here, this year.

If all goes according to plan, voters in Cabot will be considering a Town Garage proposal on Town Meeting Day. Voters will be asked to approve purchasing eight acres of land on South Walden Road on which the new garage will be built. And voters will also consider applying for a $1 million disaster recovery block grant to help fund the $1.3 million project. But first, the project's environmental review must be accepted before the town can apply for Community Development Block Grant funds.

The existing town garage is "unsafe" and in "extremely poor" condition, according to a proposal posted on the Town of Cabot website. The garage is also located in a flood plain. It was flooded in May 2011, which is why the project is eligible for disaster recovery block grant consideration.

But even before the block grant funding was announced last fall, Cabot was planning to site and build a new town garage. That work started in the spring of 2013, when the select board appointed a Town Garage Working Group tasked with identifying a new site and designing a new facility. According to the town's proposal, the group visited many town garages around the state, ultimately deciding to model Cabot's new garage after that of Strafford.

After visiting multiple town garages, the TGWG unanimously agreed that the town garage located in Strafford, Vermont should serve as the model to adopt for Cabot. The Select Board, upon reviewing the recommendation of the TGWG, authorized the Town to hire architect Karen Deasy to develop detailed plans and cost estimates for constructing a similar town garage in Cabot. Those plans have been completed and are available for review upon request in the Town Clerk’s office. The proposed garage will be 100’ by 70’, with multiple vehicular entrances as well as space for an office, toilet, and storage. The site will also house a salt shed and designated areas for sand, gravel, other materials required in the course of normal operations, plus a secure storage shed.

After settling on the designs, the working group identified a site for the new town garage.

In the Fall of 2013 – after considering multiple sites in Cabot – the Select Board, accepting the recommendation of the TGWG, and subject to the approval of the voters at Town Meeting on March 4, 2014, executed a Purchase and Sales (P & S) Agreement with Grace Cookson to purchase eight acres of land located at 2691 South Walden Road for the purpose of constructing a town garage at this location. The purchase price is $60,000. Following execution of the P & S Agreement, multiple environmental tests were conducted on the site to include a Perk Test, Wetlands Delineation Test, and Phase I Environmental Assessment to ensure that the property meets State Environmental standards, thereby ensuring that the Town Garage can be built on this site. All test results were acceptable and consequently a town garage facility can be constructed on this site if approved by the voters.

Next month, Cabot will know if the project's environmental review is accepted, giving the town the green light to apply for block grant funds. If the two Town Meeting Day votes and the block grant funding are all approved, the Town of Cabot hopes to occupy its new garage next November.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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