Castleton bids on town office renovations as expected
By Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | December 16,2013
CASTLETON — The long-awaited numbers are in and the Castleton Select Board will now have to decide what the next step is.
Bids were opened Friday for the renovation of the old town office building at 556 Main St., and the numbers came in right about where people have expected them to be all along.
Castleton Town Manager Charles Jacien said the low bid was submitted by Naylor & Breen for $798,500.
Seven bids were received. The high bid was $911,000.
Jacien said in addition to the nearly $800,000 bid, there are slightly more than $300,000 in “soft costs” associated with the renovation plans, including $140,000 in mold-removal costs, $80,000 in architectural services, $75,000 in a contingency fund, and $10,000 for permitting costs.
That brings the renovation total to about $1.1 million.
The town will now have to choose whether to ask voters to approve a bond, and for how much.
Town voters originally approved a bond in November 2012 for $750,000, but voted down a second bond for a smaller amount.
A private donor, however, stepped up with a $240,000 donation and the board earlier this fall voted to limit the renovation plans to $990,000.
It all fell apart, however, when the $750,000 bond vote was negated after the town’s bond counsel told the board it was his opinion that a statement made by board Chairman Thomas Ettori before the vote likely would have tainted the results.
Ettori had answered a question about the two bonds being considered and he said both bonds would have to pass for the town to move forward on the renovation plans.
After the smaller bond failed, the issue seemed to have dropped until board elections in March put two new faces on the five-member board and the renovation plans were resurrected.
The board decided more recently it would wait and see what the results of the bid process brought before making any decision on holding a new vote on a new bond to make sure they knew what the costs would be.
“We’ll be honing in on that Monday,” Jacien said. “The next couple of weeks we’ll be discussing what needs to be presented to the voters.”
Now that they know, the issue is scheduled to be discussed at 6 p.m. before the regularly scheduled meeting of the Castleton Select Board at town offices. A special meeting on the town office renovation is also scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.