During Tropical Storm Irene in August of 2011, both the Waitsfield and Moretown town offices sustained damage. After the flood, Waitsfield town employees were able to return to their former work space, while the damage in Moretown forced its employees to relocate to a building on Route 2 that the town is temporarily leasing from Moretown Landfill.
This year, both Waitsfield and Moretown are building new town offices that will guarantee long-term flood resiliency. As the two projects unfold almost simultaneously, The Valley Reporter put together a chart comparing building specifications and costs for each town.
Moretown’s new 2,130-square-foot town office will be constructed on the current site of the Moretown Elementary School playground – a property which the town owns. The single-story building will make use of existing municipal parking in the lot next to the school as well as add two new spaces for cars. The new town office will tie into the school’s existing well and will be heated by an air source pump.
The Moretown town office will cost an estimated $865,286, including construction, design, permitting and legal fees. That cost will be covered by a $700,000 Vermont Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), $134,000 in town reserves and insurance money from the old town office, $25,000 from the town’s Deeryard Fund to pay for relocating and reconstructing the playground and up to $40,000 that voters authorized the town to spend on the project in November of 2013.
Waitsfield’s new 4,475-square-foot town office will be constructed on the former site of the Farm Stand on Route 100 – a property that was donated to the town with a value of $100,000. The two-story building will include 19 new parking spaces, will tie into Waitsfield’s municipal water system and will be heated by an air source pump.
The Waitsfield town office will cost an estimated $1.53 million including construction, design, permitting and legal fees. The total cost of the project is $1,646,935. The difference between the two numbers comes from costs that the town is not considering part of the construction costs. The base cost of the building is $1.25 million and the town is currently considering additions/alternatives that total $84,154. Other costs that bring the total cost up to $1,646,935 are listed below.
Those additional costs include a generator required for ADA compliance at $30,000, materials testing at $3,000, a water connection fee of $5,511, plus a clerk of the works at $38,800, additional architectural, structural and civil engineering fees of $23,150, a contingency of $62,500 and $7,500 for grant administration. These additional fees total $166,461. They are in addition to the $190,000 for permitting, design and review shown in the chart.
Like Moretown, Waitsfield received a Vermont Community Development Block Grant for the town office. That grant amount is $750,000. Voters authorized the town to bond for up to $650,000 for the project. When the bids came in, the town realized it had a budget shortfall and applied for another $225,000 in grant funding. The town has received preliminary confirmation that it will receive $150,000 of the extra funding it requested.