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On Monday evening, Sept. 25, the Cavendish Select Board (SB) held an informational meeting to discuss whether the legal voters of Cavendish will approve the expenditure of up to $400,000 to replace the town garage, which was destroyed by fire in Feb. 2017. This vote will be by Australian Ballot on Sept. 26 (Tuesday) at the Cavendish Town Elementary School from 10-7. Approximately 35 people were in attendance along with the Select Board (Bob Glidden, George Timko, Mark Huntley and Mike Ripley); town manager Brendan McNamara; Asst. Town Manager Bruce McEnaney and Town Treasurer Diane McNamara,

Many of the issues from the special Sept. 13 SB meeting were again discussed last night.

Proposed Building and Associated Costs:

• Steel Building (100’ x 60’-6,000 Square feet) $102,628.00

- 4 14’x14’ Overhead garage doors:

- 4 main entrance doors

- insulation-roof R-30 Wall R-19

- Height- single slope structure low eave 14’6”/High eave 17’

- Heating-gas or oil heat for Modine and baseboard (solar options possible)

- Drainage-Floor drainage to a water/oil separation containment tank

- InteriorSpecs: Office/Break Room; tool storage room; ADA compliant bathroom w/shower and utility room

• Foundation Engineering Services $65,000

• Electrical $48,000

• Plumbing/Mechanical $1000,000

• Finishes and Carpentry Work: $26,000

• Site/Utilities Work-$40,000

Estimated Total: $381,628.00

Insurance: The settlement from the insurance company, which should be completed in the next 30 days, is estimated to be $120,000. This money will be used to offset the amount of the bond.

Why is the proposed building more expensive than the replacement cost from the insurance company? The insurance covers the cost of replacing the building as it existed prior to the fire However, the town garage had a significant number of code violations and it was a matter of time before OSHA and Labor & Industry caught up with the town. In addition, the building was not sufficient in size or height to accommodate the trucks and equipment. Since the building needed to be replaced, it needs to conform to all codes, as well as of sufficient size to accommodate trucks and other equipment.

Locations Two sites are being considered-the existing site next to the Cavendish Historical Society Museum or the sandpit across from the wastewater treatment plant. While both projects could come in for the proposed bond amount, there will be higher costs associated with the sandpit locationas it will require more site preparation. In addition, this location will take longer as environmental permitting will be required.

However, the sandpit location provides some significant benefits as it has room for growth. The steel building would not fit in with the village esthetics. Since the garage will be in this location for generations to come, many felt that the sandpit location would be the better option. When asked for a show of hands for supporting the relocation of the town garage, most people in the audience were in favor of the move.

How can we vote on a bond when we don’t know where the building will be located? Regardless of the location, it will be the exact same building and costs are expected to be well within the requested $400,000 bond.

What happens if the building can’t be built by the time snow flies? The town manager has discussed renting space from M & M construction (former Black River Produce building) for the winter. This will accommodate two trucks and will cost $1,500 a month, plus heat. The town would continue to lease the temporary buildings that are currently located next to the pole barn.

How does the town crew feel about the building? Bruce McEnaney talked with the crew, discussing the public sentiment for relocating the garage. With the environmental permitting required by the sandpit location, it might not be until late summer before they would have a garage. They understand this but have some basic requirements for the winter ahead-a warm place for trucks and a space big enough they can jack up trucks to put on chains.

Who decides on the location? The SB will make the decision on the final location. They are currently waiting on the boring test results of both locations that were conducted this past Friday.

Transparency: Some members of the public complained about lack of transparency of the SB activities pertaining to the town garage and were caught off guard when the building was taken down. The town manager apologized for not notifying those who live in close proximity about the date of demolition, however, the SB felt that they had openly discussed all aspects of the town garage project at their various meetings and that there are various ways people can learn about meetings if they are unable to attend.

The following are ways that SB activities can be followed:

• The public is invited to all SB meetings. The regular monthly SB meeting takes place the second Monday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Town Office.

• Agendas for the various SB meetings are posted in the town office, on the bulletin board outside the office, at the town’s website, the Cavendish VT Facebook page and the Cavendish Connects blog/calendar. The town manager also e-mails the agenda to those who have asked him to do so.

• LPC-TV records meetings and posts them on their website within two days of the event. These are also aired regularly on Comcast public access channels. This is gavel to gavel coverage.

• The town’s website posts unapproved minutes on-line within approximately 5 days of the meeting.

• Cavendish VT Facebook Page/ Cavendish Connects/Cavendish Update. Note that you do not have to be a Facebook subscriber to view the Cavendish VT Facebook page. The Cavendish Update provides summaries of monthly SB meetings etc., which are also posted to The Dish on the Cavendish Connects website.

• The Vermont Journal and the Chester Telegraph often provide coverage of SB meetings. The VT Journal can be read on-line and also publishes a free weekly newspaper and is the town’s paper of record. The Chester Telegraph  is only available on-line.