SHAFTSBURY — The Select Board has commissioned MSK Engineering and Design to create a site plan for a potential town garage on North Road.
The work, which will cost no more than $5,000, is the first step toward eventually constructing a new town garage. The board's current plan is to go to the townspeople in November to ask them to approve a bond to pay for the remainder of the project. The $5,000 will come out of the garage reserve fund.
Jason Dolmetsch, of MSK, said during a special meeting of the board on Tuesday that the site plan would include a topographic review of the upper area on North Road near the transfer station, a review of any permits that would be necessary to build there, and meetings and interviews with interested parties, including Trevor Mance of TAM Waste Management and the Shaftsbury road crew. "This is going to give you a schematic layout. It's going to give you a path forward on all the design work you have to do, all the permitting you have to do," he told the board, "and it's going to give you an overall probable cost, based on the parts and pieces you want. There's going to be nothing in there about construction, that's part of the next phase.
The board has said that they are most likely to hire Morton Construction to complete the design of the garage itself. Morton designed a garage in Rupert similar to what the Select Board envisions for Shaftsbury. Dolmetsch, representatives of the board, and members of the road crew will visit the Rupert garage to discuss the specifications they're looking for in the coming weeks.
While it was not included in the contract he wrote up, Dolmetsch said that he would be happy to present the site plan to the public during a public forum prior to the planned November vote.
"The important thing is to re-imagine the current site, as it is now," said Dolmetsch. He said a site plan would enable substantive conversations with voters, which could allow the select board to get a better idea of how much taxpayers are willing to spend on the project, prior to the vote. "For me," he said, "It's all about making a cohesive presentation." Dolmetsch recommended holding off on all other work, including commissioning a design for the building itself, until after the bond vote. The board concurred.
The motion to have Dolmetsch create a site plan is contingent on the completion of the purchase of a quarter-acre property on North Road. The purchase of the property, which is adjacent to town owned land, was approved by voters in March, but has not yet been finalized.
The select board has been seeking to build a new garage for their road crew for years, most recently requesting a $995,000 bond in November of 2013. That request was narrowly defeated, 319-350. The board asked voters in March if they would approve of placing the garage on North Road, an article that passed 633-425.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.