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Antrim town official say: No financial repercussions of ending contract with Baybutt

  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

    The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.
    (Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

    The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.
    (Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

    The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.
    (Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)
  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)
  • The Antrim Police Department will be moving to a new location pending approval from the town. The current police station is small, and does not meet ADA standards.<br/>(Staff photo by Brandon Lawrence)

ANTRIM ­— The town of Antrim has terminated its contract with Baybutt Construction Corporation of Keene, which was hired to design and construct a new police station, citing the company’s financial issues as the reason for parting, according to a press release the town issued Monday. There are no financial repercussions to the town for backing out of the contract, according to Town Administrator Galen Stearns.

Town officials met with Fred Baybutt, the president of Baybutt Construction, last week and decided to exercise the termination clause of the contract.

In June, Baybutt was selected to construct a 6,500-square-foot police station to be built in front of the Antrim Post Office. Phase one of the project was for the pre-bond portion, and included coming up with architectural concepts, a site plan, floor plans, elevations, cost estimates, and presenting the information to the public.

Phase one was projected to cost $44,000, and for the services Baybutt provided the actual cost was $36,000, which has been paid, Stearns said Wednesday in a phone interview.

The company contracted with Northeast Collaborative Architects to come up with floor plans and an overall design of the building. With the exception of the final presentation, Baybutt completed all the steps of phase one with satisfactory results, according to the press release.

“The documents and work that was performed by Baybutt and Northeast Collaborative Architects met all our expectations and was professionally performed and presented,” the press release reads.

The final stage of phase one was set to occur Wednesday, with a public presentation of the plans, but was delayed a week after the contract was terminated. The design plans will now be presented publicly on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the auditorium at the Antrim Town Hall. Bread Loaf Corporation out of Middlebury, Vt., has been contracted to take over for the next phase of the project, Police Chief Scott Lester said Tuesday in an interview at the police station.

Stearns said contract negotiations with Bread Loaf continues, so a dollar figure has yet to be determined for the company’s services. In December, Stearns said the estimated cost for construction of the new building at $1.2 million and the total cost, with fees and contingencies, at $1.5 million.

Lester said the pre-bond stage is still in effect, and will be so until Town Meeting in March. There was one presentation held on Dec. 20 that went very well, according to Lester, but afterwards town officials were made aware of Baybutt’s financial difficulties.

“We found out about the financial difficulties of the company, and the layoffs,” Lester said. “Galen and I went to their main office in Keene, spoke with the president of the company for Baybutt, we weren’t satisfied with the outcome of that meeting. We then presented the information we had to the selectmen, reviewed the contract again and knew that there was a termination clause within the contract. We felt that we were at a point where we could separate from that contract.”

Lester added that Baybutt completed everything it was asked to, and the town has paid for all of the services the company provided.

When the bids for the project were originally presented to the Select Board, Lester said that Bread Loaf and Baybutt were dead even, but Baybutt was selected because it is more local.

“We met with [Bread Loaf]. They’re reviewing the project,” Lester said. “They feel very optimistic that they can help us continue with the progress and the schedule we’re on, and give us a floor plan that fits what we’ve asked for. And help us out with the remaining meetings, and handle the post-bond meetings if this passes.”

Baybutt’s financial concerns run deep. Last week, Rockingham, Vt., officials attempted to notify Baybutt that its contract with the company for library renovations that totaled $2.9 million would be terminated following a 10-day period, according to Rockingham and Bellows Falls Municipal Manager Timothy Cullenen.

Cullenen said in a phone interview Wednesday that the Select Board attempted to contact Baybutt about nullifying its contract. The clause in the town’s contract states that a 10-day notice of termination was needed, which will end this Sunday. Baybutt has yet to respond.

According to published reports, other contracts with Baybutt have been terminated as well.

A call placed to Baybutt’s office in Keene during its regular business hours Tuesday and Wednesday went to voicemail. Baybutt’s attorney, Howard B. Lane Jr. did not return a call in time for print.

The floor plans and building layout for the proposed new Antrim police station have already been completed, and will be taken into account by Bread Loaf.

“What we came up with for our final floor plans [with Baybutt] was exactly what I was looking for,” Lester said Tuesday.

A rough time frame for completion of the new police station, according to Lester, would be nine months after the project is voted on, if all goes well. Phase two will begin in March after the Antrim Town Meeting, pending voter approval.

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