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05/07/2009

By Kara Herlihy

Moretown Select Board members discussed how to move forward with the ongoing Town Hall historic restoration at their May 4 meeting; town officials debated project priorities as well as whether a project manager was necessary to oversee the building restoration.

Select board member David Van Deusen asked whether the town would like to see the project completed one piece at a time or hire a project manager, which would add cost to the project.

Van Deusen said he wasn't particularly tied to either route but suggested that the board should consider holding off on the inside work until "we see where the overall budget is."

ACCOUNTABILITY

Van Deusen said that he considers the insulation, painting, outdoor carpentry work, window repair and furnace replacement to be of highest priority. Replacing the furnace will save the town money on the Town Hall's heating expenses, Van Deusen added.

Select board member John Hoogenboom said he was in favor of engaging architect Tom Keefe, whom the town has used previously for drawings and plans when the project first began.

 Moretown resident Jack Wood said project managers provide accountability, and "that's something this building has been without in the past."

GRANT MONEY

Select board member Rob Roberts suggested using the grant money and phasing out the rest of the project; Roberts also agreed that a project manager would provide accountability.

Former select board member Paula Mastroberardino and Hoover Austin have served as the point people on the renovation project and appeared March 30 to ask the select board for their direction and input on the ongoing project.

With the exception of the floor, Mastroberardino confirmed that the renovation to the basement kitchen is complete. A new energy-efficient window was installed and appliances, cabinetry and countertops have been replaced.

PRELIMINARY SPENDING PROPOSAL

Mastroberardino presented a preliminary spending proposal against what architect Tom Keefe had originally proposed at the renovation's start. Austin and Mastroberardino said they would take the lead and task committee members and develop a plan for repair priorities and phasing.

The spending proposal equals a total expenditure of approximately $171,000, with $12,000 reserved for energy-efficient windows, $6,000 for insulation, $6,000 for the chimney, $15,000 for flooring, $28,500 for kitchen work, and $15,000 for the furnace. At their May 4 meeting, select board members said that the $190,000 was approved by the voters, and if it is used this year they'll have to return to the voters again for approval.

Town officials said they would take one week to review the budget and hold a special meeting, Monday, May 8, to discuss how to move forward with the historic restoration.

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