Vote on town hall to come at town meeting
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | January 16,2013
CASTLETON — For the third time in a year — almost to the day — town residents will hold a vote that will hopefully decide on the future of the town offices.
During this year’s Town Meeting Day, on March 5, residents will go to the polls to vote on a bond that will pay to construct a new office building in a property in town, or will approve the purchase of an existing space in town. Which of these options will be on the ballot has not been determined by Castleton’s town officials just yet.
The Select Board will discuss the property options at a special meeting slated for 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Castleton Community Center.
“We are waiting for figures so we don’t make the same mistake that has been done before,” said board Chairman Thomas Ettori on Monday night.
The Select Board needs to approve the bond article by its Jan. 28 meeting so that it is posted far enough in advance of the March 5 vote.
The town is considering three properties for the new offices. Ettori confirmed two of the properties the board is considering because town resident John Hale made them public on Front Porch Forum.
They are the Woodard property on Route 4A near Hydeville and the Abatell property adjacent to the medical center on Route 30. The Woodard property has an existing residential building, while the Abatell property is empty land for construction.
The Select Board chairman would not elaborate on the third property being considered because it was not made public.
Ettori said they asked John Berryhill of NBF Architects in Rutland to look at the three properties that are in consideration. He said that for the Route 30 project, the board is leaning toward keeping the designs made by Berryhill, but not to include the fire station or the meeting room.
“It would be set up in a way that if the Fire Department was set there, the plumbing and electric will be good to go in the future,” Ettori said.
Berryhill previously designed the initial plans for the town offices and fire station that town residents considered and voted down at last year’s Town Meeting Day.
Also Monday, Ettori addressed efforts at the town clerk’s office and vault trailer. He said a new 250-watt heater will be installed in the vault and that the town manager was looking for two prices on enclosures to “help the situation there.”
The Castleton town offices have been housed in temporary trailers on Route 4A since the summer 2011. Town residents voted down two bonds — one to construct a new building and one to renovate the old office building in the village.