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Marlborough considers Town Hall alternatives

November 7th, 2012

No one disputes the fact that Marlborough needs a new Town Hall. Last week the Town Board held a special meeting to discuss 7 alternatives that have been developed by their engineer, Phil Bell. At this point the board has not chosen a specific alternative but emphasized that Bell’s sticker prices, which include consulting fees, are preliminary “rough” figures.

The present Town Hall was built in 1962 and houses the town administration, various departments, and the town clerk’s office, Town Court, the Highway Department and the Police Department. It has reached the point that continuing to operate in such cramped quarters is simply no longer an option.

Past and present Town Board members have struggled with finding the right structure at the right price for most of the last decade.

Alternative 1, at $4 million, will use the existing Town Hall property but calls for the construction of a new 10,000- square-foot building that will house the present Town Hall staff as well as a meeting room that can seat 60 people. The highway department will remain where it is presently located. The estimate includes interior renovations only to the existing Town Hall building for the expansion of the Police and Courts into the area vacated by the town staff.

Alternative 2 is a $4.5 million estimate that will use only the present Town Hall parcel. This option also includes 10,000-square-foot office building, the highway department remaining where it is and both interior and exterior renovation to the present Town Hall structure that will expand the police and court space. The exterior work for a new façade and insulation is what pushes the cost up by $500,000.

Alternative 3, also proposed for the present Town Hall site, will cost $5.2 million. The new office structure will be larger, at 14,000 square feet and instead of just moving the town staff, the building will house the police and the court. There will be parking in the rear of the new structure as well as a separate police entrance. This option includes more site work and the movement of the drainage ditch. The highway department would then utilize the present Town Hall building and reserve some space for the ambulance corps. Additional storage space will be constructed in the present Town Hall structure as well as at the TOMVAC building to accommodate files and highway equipment.

Alternative 4 is similar to #3; however the new office structure will be 16,000 square feet. The cost of this option is estimated at $5.8 million.

Alternative 5, at $6.8 million, proposes building a new highway building at the transfer station, renovating the old Town Hall and constructing a new Town Hall on the present property.

Alternative 6, at $3.5 million, calls for renovating 5,000 square feet of the TOMVAC building with an additional 2,800 square feet for a new meeting room that can hold 75 people, while also renovating the present Town Hall building.

TOMVAC will have office space for the town staff and the ambulance staff, including one vehicle, while the present Town Hall will be used by the police, courts and the highway department. The capacity of the septic system at the TOMVAC building will have to be checked.

Alternative 7, at $2.85 million, includes complete renovation of the TOMVAC building to house town staff, the ambulance staff and one emergency vehicle.

A meeting room inside TOMVAC will accommodate up to 50 people. The existing Town Hall will be renovated for the police, courts and highway department. A small storage building for highway is also included.

Bell prepared a very detailed cost breakdown of Alternative 7, anticipating the board’s desire to keep costs to a minimum. Supervisor Stephen Osbon said the board is very mindful that after the auction of the Dynegy plant in Roseton on Nov. 15 there may be a significantly lower assessment granted the new owner, which may result in a steep hike in taxes to the residents of Marlborough.

The $2.85 million breaks down to: renovating 6,000 square feet at the TOMVAC building at $150 per square foot will cost $900,000.

Renovating the existing Town Hall for 1,500 square feet of new additions at $250 per square foot will cost $375,000.

Renovating 3,800 square feet of the existing Town Hall building for the police, courts and highway at $150 per square foot will total $570,000.

Exterior renovation of the façade and adding insulation to the existing building of 9,500 square feet at $20 per square foot will cost $190,000.

Six new insulated doors and openers will each cost $7,500 for a total of $45,000.

General site improvements, totaling 7,500 square feet at $20 per square foot will include asphalt parking, storm water controls, curbing and guide rails for a cost of $150,000.

A 1,000-square-foot non-heated four-bay Highway Department storage shed, at $150 per square foot will total $150,000.

These estimates total $2,380,000. Bell indicated that consulting fees for design, contract and bid services and ensuring there is a construction manager overseeing the project will cost $476,000 and brings the total of a final rough estimate for alternative 7 to $2,856,000.

The Town Board said in the coming weeks they will be reviewing these alternatives. Osborn said the town has more than a million dollars that can be used toward this project and they would have to bond for the remainder. He said the board is leaning toward the less costly alternatives in light of the impending impacts of the Dynegy plant upon the residents.

By MARK REYNOLDS
mreynolds@tcnewspapers.com

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