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On Friday, March 15, the Moretown Town Office Committee met to open bids for design services for a new town office to replace the building that was destroyed due to flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.
The committee received seven bids, with the phase one design fee (which focuses on feasibility and schematic design) ranging from $10,000 to $24,000 and the phase two design fee (which includes the completed design) ranging from $45,000 to $66,000.
The committee, which was formed in December of 2011, is still considering sites on which to rebuild, but after conducting an all-inclusive survey it has narrowed it down to three options: a site behind the Moretown Elementary School playground, a site adjacent to the village tennis courts and the site of the old town offices.
Last week, Moretown received a hazard mitigation grant to buy the old town offices in the amount of about $60,000. This money will supplement the $100,000 the town received in insurance money for damages to the existing building and set aside for the new town office.
The hazard mitigation grant is good news, for while the town has not yet heard back about money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), its contribution to the new town offices “will probably be disappointing,” town office committee chair Clark Amadon said at Town Meeting on March 5, explaining that the municipal building is not considered a “critical facility” and therefore will not receive as much aid as a police or fire department building would receive.
The town office committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. at the Kaiser Drive building on Route 2. At that meeting, committee members will discuss the bids more in depth and decide which firm they want to recommend to the Moretown Select Board at their meeting on Monday, April 1.