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Police station nearly complete; firehouse work on schedule

BRATTLEBORO—Within a few weeks, construction will be complete at the new police station at 62 Black Mountain Road, Town Manager Peter B. Elwell announced at the Aug. 1 regular Selectboard meeting.

Work at the Central Fire Station continues apace, and if all goes as planned, the entire project will end with a surplus.

“The next time we’re together [...] the police department will have begun its phased move-in,” Elwell told the Board.

The department will move in “unit-by-unit in the next four [to] five weeks,” and should be fully operational in the new facility by Sept. 17, he said.

At that point, the police department will cease operations at the municipal center on Main Street. Elwell said there will be a ribbon-cutting at the new facility, but town officials have not yet set the date for the ceremony.

Construction continues at the Central Fire Station on Elliot Street, which is undergoing extensive renovations.

“There, we have a tremendous amount of activity going on and will go on for the next several months,” Elwell said. “We expect to finish about on time.”

The next few weeks will bring some developments to the area just outside the building’s perimeter.

Work crews will modify the intersection of Elliot and Spring streets to allow fire trucks a wider turning radius and the section of Elliot Street in front of T.J. Buckley’s Uptown Dining will lose three parking spaces so emergency vehicles can safely get into and out of the fire station.

But, in September, Elwell said he will seek Selectboard approval to replace those parking spaces — and possibly add a few more — further east on Elliot Street in spots where parking is currently prohibited, bringing a net parking gain to the area.

The project is still within its budget, Elwell said: Of the $12.8 million budgeted, $545,850.57 is still uncommitted.

A little more than half of the uncommitted funds will be spent on planned and potential items, such as the demolition of the old West Brattleboro Fire Station, police department moving expenses, and a partial roof replacement at the new police station.

“If all of those things do get completed in the manner that [is] projected between now and the end of the job, we expect to finish with around $200,000 remaining,” Elwell said, and noted the Selectboard and Town Meeting can redirect those funds into other capital projects.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #420 (Wednesday, August 9, 2017). This story appeared on page A3.

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