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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.

Bidding Process Underway For New Waterbury Municipal Complex

Last March, Town Meeting voters in Waterbury approved a $2.95 million bond to build a new municipal building complex. Town Meeting Day this year is the bid deadline for contractors interested in working on the project.

Waterbury's town offices were destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene and the town was awarded a $1 million disaster recovery block grant to rebuild. Voters struck down the original proposal to build a new municipal complex on property that was part of the old state office complex. That $5 million project would have included municipal offices, village police, the Waterbury Public Library and the Waterbury Historical Society.

The new project was scaled back and does not include the police department. In addition, the site was moved to a town-owned lot at 28 North Main Street, where the public library is currently located. Barbara Farr, Waterbury's long-term recovery director, says the permitting process is now in its final stages and things are coming together swiftly.

"The project involves the renovation and restoration of the historic Janes House and will include new municipal offices, a new expanded library, the historical society and a community meeting room," Farr wrote in a recent update on Waterbury's Front Porch Forum. She noted:

  • The town received word Monday afternoon [Feb. 9] that Act 250 has closed the application evidence gathering process for the municipal complex and drafting the permit takes place this week and maybe into next week. Local officials are looking forward to wrapping this part up and moving forward. A separate local permit was approved by Waterbury's Development Review Board (DRB) in December.
  • Another permit application along with construction drawings was submitted to Fire Safety on Tuesday [Feb. 10] and we are told that it should take about three weeks for review and permitting.
  • Asbestos removal is tentatively scheduled for the first week in March but could go into the next week depending on bids and schedules.
  • The formal bidding process has begun for construction trades. All bidders are directed to ReArchfor the bid package and instructions. A walk-through of the library for prospective bidders is 11:30 on February 19. 
  • Sealed construction bids will be opened in a public meeting (tentatively scheduled for March 5 at 2 p.m.).
  • Contaminated soil (1 truckload) will need to be removed when the ground thaws. They couldn’t get in there any earlier so it will most likely happen in late March or early April. It will not impact the construction schedule.
  • Site work is anticipated to start in mid-April with construction following. Meetings with neighbors and the construction site manager will begin in early April to assure a smooth process with no or minimal impacts during the construction phase. Weekly updates and pictures will be posted on the town's website once construction starts.
  • The library is very busy with packing and moving and should be out of their current space by March Town Meeting Day. Their new temporary space will be at 30 Foundry Street behind the Steele Block building following Town Meeting in March. The Historical Society is mostly all moved out and items in storage.

"This has been a long process to get to this point following the flooding in August 2011 that destroyed the old municipal offices," Farr wrote. "Municipal staff have been working in temporary space with public records stored in multiple locations for over three years."
The project includes approximately 4,000 square feet of renovation and 12,500 square feet of new construction. Construction is scheduled to be completed in December, with a move-in date planned for January 2016.

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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