Clarendon town office could be moved
By SANDI SWITZER
Herald Correspondent | December 13,2012
Cassandra Hotaling Hahn / Staff File Photo
The municipal offices may vacate Clarendon Town Hall in the long run, but short-term renovations are being considered.
CLARENDON — Townspeople may conduct municipal business in a new location within the next decade.
The Clarendon Select Board agreed that the town must pursue a long-term plan for municipal operations that could include moving out of Town Hall.
The board met Monday with members of a committee charged with exploring all options for renovating the existing building, relocating to another site or even constructing a new building.
The municipal offices would require costly renovations and would still be burdened by limited parking, according to committee members.
“Spending a lot of money on the facility is not a good idea for the long term,” said committee member Randle Kinne.
Another member of the group, Dave Seward, urged the board to consider taking immediate action to address critical maintenance issues so the building would be usable for the next few years.
“If actions aren’t taken to prevent the water and weather from entering the building, the problems are going to increase exponentially,” Seward said.
A third committee member, Jim Gratton, said the building was “perfectly serviceable” until the town pursued a long-term plan.
Kinne added the committee did not address the many concerns the board has over the nearby municipal garage.
The Town Hall needs an estimated $272,000 in renovations and repairs, according to an architectural firm’s analysis of the 1868 building.
Short-term maintenance issues would cost an estimated $20,000 to $25,000, according to Select Board chairman Michael Klopchin. A priority list of concerns included roof, chimney and foundation repairs; resolving drainage issues around the structure; bathroom renovations and window replacements.
Klopchin noted the committee had further recommended putting $50,000 annually into a building reserve fund over the next several years to offset future long-range costs. The town could contribute to the fund over the next five to 10 years while exploring all options.
Board members were concerned about over-burdening taxpayers with maintenance costs as well as a reserve fund.
Administrative assistant Linda Trombley said a reserve fund would require voter approval.
The board agreed to pursue pressing maintenance issues and consider options for a reserve fund at a future meeting.