After passed vote, Shaftsbury to move forward on garage
SHAFTSBURY — Tuesday night, the Shaftsbury Select Board received permission from voters to pursue a $1.1 million bond to fund the construction of a new town garage.
The bond vote passed 469-401. The article read, "Shall General obligation bonds of the Town of Shaftsbury in an amount not to exceed $1,100,000, subject to reduction from the receipt of available state and federal grants-in-aid, be issued for the purpose of financing the cost of constructing a new highway department garage, transfer station, and related infrastructure?"
"Those of us who have worked hard on the garage are pleased and grateful that a majority of voters support this latest proposal," said Select Board Chairman Scoggins, who served on the garage committee before being appointed to the Select Board, "I am personally appreciative to those who opposed the garage for an open, honest and respectful dialogue on this contentious issue. We disagreed strongly at times but we all want what's best for Shaftsbury and it never got personal."
At the town's floor meeting on Monday, Scoggins said that this most recent effort to replace the current building, which is over 50 years old, began in 2010, and the issue was discussed in the early 2000's as well. After two bond votes failed in March and November of 2013, the Select Board went back to the drawing board. In 2015 they toured the new town highway garage in Rupert, and asked Morton Construction, who had designed that building, to design a garage based on the Rupert building that would meet Shaftsbury's needs.
Now that the bond vote has passed, the board will now solicit bids based on Morton's designs. "We are moving quickly to lock in an interest rate on the bond before any threatened rate hikes can occur," said Scoggins, "We will likely move first on demolition of the two residences on North Road that we recently bought to consolidate our land holding at the site. The Select Board still has to decide exactly how to proceed to bid. Depending on how the bidding process progresses, there is hope to complete construction this year. But give how long this has taken, we are more concerned about getting it right than getting it fast."
Reach staff writer Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122 or @DerekCarsonBB
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