The special Select Board (SB) meeting was not recorded by LPCTV. Written minutes will be available at the town’s website.
The purpose of the meeting was to continue the discussion about the location of the town garage. Members of the SB, two former town managers-Rolf van Schaik and Rich Svec, along with Cavendish resident and landscape architect Stephen Plunkard, the engineering firm Cavendish uses Weston & Sampson, town manager Brendan McNamara and assistant town manager Bruce McEnaney have spent the last week evaluating two sites for the future of the town garage-the village site, which was torn down in August, and the upper sandpit across from the town’s wastewater treatment plant off of Route 131.
Those involved in this provess agreed that:
• Whatever site is selected, it will be the location of the town garage for generations to come and therefore multiple options must be considered.
• Neither site is ideal
• The existing village site provides little to no room for expansion and the proposed modular steel building would not fit with the more historical aspects of the village, impacting esthetics and potential worth of surrounding property.
• The sandpit site would require more site modifications, including locating sand to lower pit. However, this option does provide room to grow. It is also feasible that by digging into the bank, a lot more room could be made quickly available. In addition, the extracted material could easily be sold.
• Both projects can be brought in at or under the $400,000 maximum that voters are being asked to approve on Sept. 26. The sandpit option would be the more expensive as additional site prep and paving would be needed. There are additional town paving funds that could be used for the sandpit location.
• The village site has the better shot at being ready for occupancy by Nov. 15. However, it is recognized that because of the various holdups with insurance etc., it’s a late start for getting the building completed, regardless of location.
It should be noted that taking this past week to examine alternative locations did not impact the timeline for getting the building constructed.
In view of the shortening construction season, the town has already talked to M & M Construction (owners of the old Black River Produce Building) about the town leasing bays from them this winter. In short, the town does have a contingency plan if construction isn’t completed before “snow flies.”
Concerns were raised about safety of town crew obtaining sand during the winter months as well as concerns about trucks entering onto 131. Lowering the speed limit to 35 MPH and posting “caution” signs in addition to widening and paving the road to the lower sandpit could adequately address safety issues. It should be noted that municipal and commercial trucks are already entering and exiting in this area and signage and lowering speed limits should be adopted regardless of final location of the town garage.
The board and members of the audience appeared to be favoring the sandpit site. However the SB will not make its decision about the final location of the garage until after the boring test results are in. These tests will be done at both sites this coming Friday, Sept. 22.
The SB plans to meet prior to the informational meeting on Sept. 25 and make a decision about location if enough information is available. It is important to note that the town vote will be for expenditure of funds not location.
There was a brief discussion about what would happen with the existing space if the garage was relocated. Ultimately, it’s a bit premature for that discussion though it is recognized that the Museum is almost 200 years old, on the Historic Register and whether the town sells the land or not, whatever would replace the garage needs to fit with its surrounding and not jeopardize the oldest building in Cavendish village.
An informational meeting will take place on Sept. 25, 7 pm at the Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) in Cavendish. Australian Ballots will be cast on Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 10-7 at CTES’s Art’s Room. For more information, contact the town office 802-226-7292.