Police-Fire Facilities update
BRATTLEBORO — BRATTLEBORO - At the May 2 regular Selectboard meeting, Police Chief Michael Fitzgerald and Fire Chief Michael Bucossi both gave a thumbs-up to the progress made on the police and fire facilities.
Town Manager Peter B. Elwell reported on the current status of the work at the future police station at 62 Black Mountain Rd., and the rehab of the Central Fire Station on Elliot Street.
Extensive interior projects at the police station continue. In the next few weeks, workers will lay down more slab infills, put up more steel stud framing, and continue the rough-in of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Workers have also started on the site's exterior.
At the fire station, workers cleared a big hurdle during the past few weeks: They finished major repairs to the building's roof. Workers also constructed most of the structure's masonry walls and poured the first floor perimeter slab.
In the next few weeks, the masonry walls in the new lobby/elevator area will go up, the new apparatus bay area will get underslab piping, electrical rough-in will continue, and the second-floor perimeter deck will be poured. Workers will soon begin demolition in the existing station's downstairs area.
According to Elwell's April 27 memorandum to the Selectboard, the project is still on schedule, with the Police Department expected to move in in August, and the fire station opening in November.
Selectboard sets July meeting schedule
BRATTLEBORO - At the May 2 regular Selectboard meeting, the Board agreed to condense their two July meetings into a single session on Tuesday, July 11.
Because the Selectboard typically convenes on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, and because the first Tuesday in July is Independence Day, Town Manager Peter B. Elwell and his staff proposed the Board hold a single meeting on July 11.
During this meeting, the Selectboard will set the fiscal year 2018 property tax rate.
“This would be in keeping with a practice in some other communities (and sometimes here in Brattleboro in the past) to scale back the summer meeting schedule to just one meeting in July and/or August,” Elwell wrote in an April 12 memorandum.
Mud season ends, construction season begins
BRATTLEBORO - To prepare for construction season, the Selectboard awarded two bids for public works projects at the May 2 regular Board meeting.
Vermont Roadworks LLC of Guilford received unanimous approval for their $35,728.45 bid to pave a portion of Guilford Street. Highway and Utilities Superintendent Hannah Tyler noted the Department of Public Works estimated the project would cost about $75 per ton, but Vermont Roadworks' bid is for about $59 per ton.
Bernie LaRock & Son, Inc., of Guilford, received unanimous approval to reconstruct a retaining wall on Bonnyvale Road for $118,400. Tyler said the existing “dry-laid retaining wall is falling into the brook and taking the road with it.” Most of this project's cost will come from a grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation's Structures Program.
Pump it up
BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Fire Department will soon get a much-needed rescue pumper truck.
At the May 2 regular Selectboard meeting, the Board unanimously voted to allow Town Manager Peter B. Elwell to sign a purchase agreement with Minutemen Trucks, Inc., of Walpole, Mass., for a new Pierce Manufacturing Inc. pumper for $535,496.
By entering into a pre-pay program, the town will save 4.9 percent from the regular purchase price, and the item will cost 2.6 percent less than the budgeted amount for the vehicle.
“It's unusual to prepay” for municipal machinery, Elwell said, “but not for fire apparatus. It's appropriate for purchasing a fire vehicle.” Elwell noted Pierce custom builds the trucks in Wisconsin, and their products are dependable and the company is held in high regard.
Brattleboro Assistant Fire Chief Leonard Howard III said the new truck should arrive in about a year.
BASIC grant apps rolling in
BRATTLEBORO - As Brattleboro inches closer to getting a municipal skatepark, town officials continue identifying and applying for grants to help get it there.
At the May 2 regular Board meeting, the Selectboard unanimously voted to authorize Recreation & Parks Department director Carol Lolatte to apply for two grants on behalf of BASIC (Brattleboro Skatepark is Coming): a $45,000 TD Charitable Foundation Grant from TD Bank, and a $25,000 Community Partners Grant from Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation.
If received, these grants will help fund the design and construction of a skatepark at Living Memorial Park.
At the meeting, some Selectboard members expressed excitement about these grants and, if awarded, how close they will bring the skatepark to completion.
Rental Housing Improvement Program Committee switcheroo
BRATTLEBORO - The Selectboard accepted, with gratitude and reluctance, former Town Clerk Annette Cappy's resignation from the Rental Housing Improvement Program Committee at the May 2 regular Board meeting.
The committee reviews loan applications for the program, which offers low-interest funds to help upgrade or maintain affordable rental housing in Brattleboro.
According to the the program's policies-and-procedures manual, one member of the committee is a representative from the Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing Corporation. The town's Finance Department services the loans, disburses funds, and collects payments from borrowers.
At the Corporation's Board of Directors' recommendation, the Selectboard unanimously voted to appoint Jon Hoover to the program's committee. Hoover serves as the Corporation's secretary, and is community director for Westgate Housing, Inc.