First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

The lazy dog days of summer proved elusive for Town departments and boards which worked diligently to progress key initiatives.

Here’s an update on what we’ve been working on…

Kent Memorial Library

  Abatement begins early fall with estimated completion date of mid-November.

• Additional renovation work will coincide with abatement to accelerate project completion date.

• Sustainable Engineering Solutions, LLC of Berlin to complete a “post commission” of the HVAC system to ensure proper design, installation and functioning of system.

• Letter requesting library donations forwarded to local community members as well as broader list of individuals/groups committed to libraries and architecture preservation.

• Town, along with legislative contingency, currently making case to Office of Policy Management for State assistance under Urban Act Grant.

Town Hall

Board of Selectmen July Meeting focused solely on initial presentation of two proposed plans and soliciting feedback from invited boards (Finance, Permanent Building Commission and Advisory Commission on Capital Expenditures).

Existing building deficits include insufficient vault size; failing and inefficient HVAC system; noncompliance and building code issues including ADA; poor floor plan; inadequate conference room space; presence of lead and asbestos.

Two conceptual proposals include renovation with addition ($8.17M, 17,579 total sq. ft.) and new build ($10.43M, 15,978 total sq. ft.); both options bring majority of Town departments back to Town Hall versus utilizing rental space.

Both plans address needs, however, new building greatly improves layout; minimizes building code risk/cost overruns and environmental remediation risks associated with renovation; reduces operating expenses with more efficient systems.

Difference between financing $9.0M versus $10.0M = $347,425 over 20 years.

Presentation and schematic design plans available on Town website (; conceptual designs are not final and likely to change.

Based on feedback, additional rendition requested with new build located on annex site for increased flexibility/options for remaining Town land.

Once plans reviewed by boards, ample opportunity for public input prior to final decision via Town Meeting.

Highway Garage

Town exploring opportunities for economic development of Ffyler Place.

One opportunity considers leasing new building on blighted Wick’s lumber site.

Future of Public Works with regionalization supports leased space option providing Town with ability to walk away after minimum of 20 years versus owning potentially unneeded Town building.

Future annual lease could be absorbed by current rental costs at Ffyler Place for temporary library ($33,000/year) and 230C Mountain Road ($104,000/year) once Town departments relocated to KML and housed under one roof at Town Hall.

BOS approved; BOF scheduled to discuss at September meeting.

Babb’s Beach

Sewer line and septic system capital projects underway this fall utilizing grant received years ago and in collaboration with Citizens Restoring Congamond.

New steps from top to beach area proceeding as well.

Private Roads

Town department heads held kickoff meeting to discuss plans, challenges and next steps to address status of improvements to private roads.

Pending litigation proves additional challenge to process.

Planning & Zoning discusses at August meeting whether to make recommendation to BOS to accept first 965 feet of Lake Road as Town road per state statute. 

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