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Selectboard briefs

Transportation Center, library to get energy upgrades

BRATTLEBORO—BRATTLEBORO — By the end of the year, two municipal facilities will get extensive energy-saving upgrades. One of the projects is partially funded by the Windham Wood Heat Initiative.

The Transportation Center will get a wood-pellet boiler, a new heat-pump-powered water heater, some insulation, and upgraded controls.

The Windham Wood Heat Initiative, managed locally by the Windham Regional Commission, has guaranteed the town a 35 percent rebate for the $185,645 project’s total cost, provided the work is complete by Dec. 31.

Brooks Memorial Library’s entire HVAC (air-handling) system will get replaced. Workers will also exchange the library’s large, single-paned windows with more-energy-efficient double-paned glass. These projects should be done by the end of October.

The library project’s scope and cost was approved at this year’s Town Meeting, but after town manager staff worked with GPI Construction on the estimate, the actual cost went up by almost 100 percent due to the complexity of the work.

The library’s Board of Trustees agreed to finance the amount over the original budget.

At the Sept. 4 regular meeting, the Selectboard voted 4-0 to award the contract for both projects to GPI Construction.

Brattleboro resident Daniel Quipp, who works with the environmental organization 350.org, thanked Selectboard members for their vote, saying, “This is what getting off fossil fuels looks like: one good decision at a time.”

Police-Fire Facilities Project now truly complete

BRATTLEBORO — Although work at all three upgraded and new police and fire facilities is finished and the stations have been in use for months, the Selectboard took the final step on Sept. 4 and voted 4-0 to certify them as complete.

Town Manager Peter B. Elwell explained that this certification is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank, which issued two sets of bonds — in 2013 and 2016 — to finance the projects.

The police-fire facilities fund still has $415,000 in it, due to the project coming in under budget. Later in the fall, town manager staff will present options to the Selectboard on what to do with that money.

The final decision rests with Representative Town Meeting. Once RTM makes plans for the $415,000, the town will notify the bond bank.

Although there’s still money in the fund, representatives from the bond bank recommended the Board certify the project as complete because “the projects are substantially complete,” and are in use, Elwell said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #476 (Wednesday, September 12, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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