Wilton: Town Hall project revisited

  • Renovations to the entryway at Town Hall are more expensive than was first thought. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/24/2016 7:07:47 PM

The Select Board is hoping for a creative solution to entryway renovations at the Town Hall after initial estimates suggest that it’s a more pricey project than previously thought.

“We have asked our Department of Public Works Director to re-examine the project,” said Select Board Chair Kermit Williams. “We’re hoping we might be able to find some cost savings by having some of the work done in-house.”

The town approved $11,000 in funds in March to repair the walkway and handicapped accessible door, but recent estimates for the work proved to be well in excess of the funds available – as much as three times more, said Williams. 

Williams said the hope is to be able to alleviate that cost by having some of the work done by the town’s Department of Public Works.

But if that’s not enough, he said, the town will be considering returning to tax payers in March to request additional funds to complete the project.

The town is also working on obtaining prices for work to renovate the interior of the Town Hall. In 2015, the voters approved up to $58,773 – $20,000 from capital reserves and $38,773 from taxation – for health and safety improvements at the Town Hall.

The proposal included indoor air quality improvements, renovations to improve the building durability and save electricity and fuel by weatherproofing and insulation, and to provide a design plan for future upgrades to the heating and ventilation systems.

The board also discussed the possibility of creating an office space at the back of the Town Hall courtroom to house the town’s newly hired Town Administrator, Scott Butcher. Previously, the town did not have an administrator, only two executive assistants, both of whom will remain in their positions, meaning that there is no dedicated office for a town administrator.

Williams said he was wary of that prospect with the upcoming presidential election, which has traditionally been stationed in the court room, saying, “We’re going to need all the space available for that.”

Butcher begins Sept. 6, and in the immediate interim, the selectman’s office will be re-arranged to accommodate him.

Williams said the board will likely revisit the concept of constructing a separate office for Butcher as the town moves forward with other renovations of the Town Hall interior, and after elections have passed.

The Wilton Select Board meets on Mondays in the Selectman’s office in the Town Hall.

The Town Hall will be closed on Sept. 5 in recognition of Labor Day.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244.


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