Cost estimates for new Greenwood Town Office options revealed
Cost estimates for options for a new Greenwood town office were presented Tuesday at a public hearing on the proposed municipal budget.
Residents will vote on three choices for the office at their May 18 annual town meeting.
The options include building a new, modular office on land donated by the Jackson-Silver American Legion Post on Gore Road; building a new modular office on the site of the current office on Bird Hill Road; and relocating the office to the old Town Hall on Route 26.
Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman, who has been working with a Building Committee to craft the plans, presented information at the hearing. The town has approved $130,000 for the project.
A new, one-story building located next to the Legion Hall would cost an estimated $141,819, she said. The structure, to be built 20 feet to the right of the hall, would have a half-basement, half-crawl space beneath it.
The Town Hall option would require renovation of the building, with the first floor converted to an office. The estimated cost is $201,000.
Precise costs were not available for a modular building on the current office site, but town officials thought the cost could be comparable to the Legion Hall proposal.
The sites of both existing buildings have dampness problems that would have to be addressed.
Corey-Whitman listed pros and cons for the Legion and Town Hall options.
For the Legion, pros include parking, level location, new construction, smaller building, no septic or well needed, a surveillance system, a generator hookup, use of the hall for board meetings, lifetime tenancy and only four to five weeks to be ready. Cons include location out of the village, an increase in highway maintenance and lifetime tenancy.
Town officials said although the Legion option exceeds the budgeted figure, the Building Reserve Account could cover the difference.
For the Town Hall, pros included central location, preserving the building and maintaining a single building. Cons included parking, well issues, possible need for a septic design, drainage needed, a wet/molded basement needing fixing, a two and one half to three month timeline for work, dangerous pedestrian traffic, no insulation, possible mold remediation and an environmental study needed.
If the Town Hall option is chosen, additional tax money would have to be raised to cover the added cost.
An estimate for the Bird Hill site option will be available for town meeting. Only the other two options were looked at in detail for the hearing. A modular building on the current office site would require relocating the staff elsewhere during the time of construction.
In discussion at the hearing, attended by about a dozen people, Selectboard Chair Fred Henderson favored extra funds for a full basement at the Legion site. “I’m worried if we don’t do it, later we may wish we did,” he said.
Corey-Whitman said the added cost would likely be $2,500 to $3,000.
Selectman Amy Chapman said she was concerned that moving the office to the Town Hall would change the character of that building.
Selectmen have also said, however, that some residents worry that if the office goes anywhere but the Town Hall, the old hall would be disposed of.
But, said Henderson, “I think the Town Hall will stand on its own.”
Corey-Whitman said that if the office goes elsewhere, the current Building Committee could then turn its attention to repairs for the hall. “It could be a new focus for them,” she said. “It’s a wonderful old building.”
Added Blaine Mills, president of the Greenwood Historical Society, “It’s got the best floor in the county.”
Corey-Whitman had two contractors provide estimates to address the building’s water-related issues, and the two figures were $28,000 and $52,000.
The Town Hall will also need painting and a new roof in the near future.
There was little discussion on the overall municipal budget, which is proposed at nearly flat-funding from last year.