Westside to vote $400K for bathrooms
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | March 02,2013
WEST RUTLAND — Town officials are asking residents to approve a $400,000 bond Tuesday for new bathrooms in the Town Hall basement.
Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette said the bathrooms will mark the final major improvement project for the municipal building
“The building is used daily,” she said. “It was great when we opened the auditorium. Now we need to accommodate people’s needs.”
Goulette said more than 4,600 people use the building every year, including the Boy Scouts, Historical Society, Planning Commission, Marble Valley Players, Bone Builders and more.
Over the last decade, the town and the Friends of the West Rutland Town Hall have teamed up to renovate and improve the building. The last major project was completed last year with the installation of a new air-conditioning system in the second-floor auditorium.
Goulette said the Friends of the West Rutland Town Hall paid for that project and the town agreed to foot the bill for the bathrooms. She said town officials decided it was best to bond for the bathrooms than to rely on fundraising.
“We have been getting a cost estimate,” she said. “This was always on the list, so we thought ‘let’s see if there is support.’”
The Town Hall basement, which has not had any improvements, only has two working bathrooms. There is only one other bathroom — on the first floor — that is working and accessible to the handicapped.
If the bond is approved, the building will get four new bathrooms and another handicapped-accessible bathroom in the basement.
The cost estimate for the project is $445,366. Goulette said the town hopes to acquire a $30,000 Cultural Facilities Grant that would be added to the $50,000 the town has saved in the Town Hall account.
The $400,000 bond would be repaid over 20 years and would increase the yearly property tax by $22 per $100,000 of assessed value. But Goulette said the actual tax increase from the bond would be about $7 due to lower municipal taxes.
Goulette said if the bond is passed by voters, the town hopes to go to bid soon with construction starting this summer.
Residents will vote on the bond from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Hall.