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Bennington Town Hall begins reopening a year to the day of COVID closure

  • Bennington Town offices Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/31/2021 5:15:48 PM

The Bennington Town Hall starts a phased reopening to the public on Thursday after completing several necessary safety improvements to protect staff and visitors from COVID-19. It shuttered a year to the day in 2020, at which point it was the last municipal building in the area to do so. 

“I’m excited,” Town Administrator Kristie LaPlante said. The Town Hall now has an improved ventilation system with an air exchanger and UV lights in the heating ducts, a more ADA-accessible customer service window with a sneeze guard, and a separate door for the Police Department to use – all changes necessary to safely accommodate staff members and visitors, who now have more lobby space to spread out. “Now we feel that we can safely accommodate three customers,” LaPlante said. The upgrades were finally completed a week and a half ago, the end of a saga that started last June, when the town originally sought a contractor to perform the work but received no bids.

It’s particularly important to ensure staff safety in Bennington since a small number of staff fill a wide range of roles, LaPlante said. “If we lose one employee to a customer exposure, or if we’re not safe with how we do things, that could potentially shut down operations,” she said, and the town’s Joint Loss Management Committee would discuss a complete reopening after every staff member has had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

As of April 1, the Town Hall will reopen on an appointment-only basis between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Masks are required for entry, customers without masks will be asked to complete all business outside. In the next phase, which remains to be scheduled, walk-ins will be allowed two days a week, and the final phase will completely allow walk-ins.


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