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Wilton

$1.7M addition to get started

Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for today at 4:30 p.m.

  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Work on the $1.7 million addition and renovation of the Wilton Fire Station will begin this week, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for this afternoon.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

WILTON — The town is scheduled to break ground today on a long-awaited addition to the Wilton Fire Department.

The town officially awarded the work to Hutter Construction of New Ipswich last week. The company will begin work this week on multiple improvements to the building, including an additional fire truck bay, a new training room, kitchen area, lobby, office space and handicapped-accessible bathroom. It will also renovate portions of the existing building, which is to include asbestos removal, updates to the drainage system, and fixes for multiple safety concerns.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.7 million, and is to be paid for with a $935,000 bond and $763,950 from town’s capital reserve funds. The town approved the funds for the new addition handily at March Town Meeting in a 176-53 ballot vote, which was well within the two-thirds majority needed to pass the warrant article requesting the funds. Now, this week, the work begins.

Members of the Select Board are scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony at the fire station this afternoon at 4:30 p.m., which will signify the official start of the construction work.

This week, several trees on the property’s slope will be removed in anticipation of the work. The Select Board agreed at its Monday meeting that the lumber generated by the trees could go to the Highway Department to give to residents in need of firewood during the winter months.

There have been a few changes to the plans since they were last presented at Town Meeting, Select Board Chair Dan Donovan told the board at its meeting Monday. Instead of using Hutter to remove a granite stone wall currently on the property, the town will instead be using its own highway employees. This will allow the town to retain the stone for future town projects, Donovan said. Removing the wall was originally priced at $71,000, and having the Highway Department take care of it will reserve a contingency in the event that during construction Hutter finds a ledge that needs to be broken down, which could add as much as $100,000 to the project, Donovan said.

Select Board member Rick Swanson questioned if money from the bond could be used to pay the Highway Department employees for their work removing the wall. Donovan said that the funds allocated by the bond did not leave much in the way of flexibility, and one of the reasons for using town employees was to ease that burden.

Proposed heating units for the new building are to be removed from inside the building and will be relocated to the roof, to allow for easier maintenance, Donovan said.

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