Meeting on new Pownal town office building slated for Thursday


POWNAL — A public information meeting this week will give residents a chance to learn about a proposed new town office building.

The meeting, hosted by the Selectboard and Town Office Committee, will be held Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the elementary school.

"This will be a chance for anyone to ask questions about the project," Town Office Committee Chairman Frank Lamb said Sunday.

Brochures were mailed to Pownal residents earlier this fall, in which the committee's history, existing conditions of the current building and the proposal were outlined. The 5,962-square-foot building has an estimated cost of just over $1 million.

Lamb said this week's meeting would likely be the first of several to be held in the coming months. Officials aim to ask voters to approve a bond at the next annual Town Meeting in March.

The proposed structure would sit on town land at the end of Center Street — the site of the former Bartels Lodge, which was demolished in 2012. It would be adjacent to the existing office building and the Pownal Center Community Church.

Town officials have long sought to replace the town offices at 467 Center St.

"We've literally outgrown the building," Lamb said.

In the current building, several departments are housed in one room that also serves as the building's only meeting space.

Lamb's committee was established in 1993 and went through periods of inactivity. Many sites were considered over the years — members previously looked at renovating the Bartels Lodge and converting space in the American Legion Post 90 building on Route 7. But there were concerns that renovating a space could cost more than new construction.

Last year, the committee contracted with LineSync Architecture of Wilmington to begin drafting plans for new construction.

The result, according to Lamb, is an affordable, modern and energy efficient building that the eight-member committee feels is a good fit for the community. Members wanted a building that would fit into the neighborhood, he said, while allowing for future expansion.

The first floor would be 3,881 square feet and include a 1,600-square-foot meeting space. It would also have nine rooms for the town clerk, listers, the zoning board, Selectboard's assistant, the health office, the treasurer, the planning and development review boards, and town records, as well as a kitchenette and a small meeting room.

Some 2,000 square feet in the proposed building's basement would double as a storage area and would allow for future expansion.

The estimated cost of $1,035,034 would be funded by a 25-year bond of $900,000 with 3.442 percent interest, according to the committee. The remaining $135,034 would come from the Municipal Office Fund.

The project would add an additional $0.23 per $100 assessed value, or $22.790 for a $100,000 property, according to the Town Office Committee.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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