Wolcott Votes to Fund Repairs

posted Jan 2, 2014, 7:17 AM by News & Citizen

by Andrew Martin 

   Voters in Wolcott have chosen how to fund the ongoing repairs to the roof of the Wolcott Fire Station. A special Town Meeting to decide the funding issue was held Tuesday, December 10, at the Wolcott Town Offices. Approximately 20 Wolcott residents turned out for the meeting, which began at 6 p.m. 

The warning for the meeting consisted of just one article, which read “Shall the voters authorize the Selectboard to borrow up to $41,332.92 to pay for repairs to the Fire Department roof as mandated by the Department of Public Safety for a period not to exceed five years at terms and conditions set by the Selectboard found to be in the best interest of the town?”

Following the opening of the meeting a motion to accept Article I was made and seconded and a discussion of the article commenced. During the discussion several residents raised concerns over the fact that previous work to the roof had been ineffective. The Selectboard informed those present that they are hoping to write a long-term maintenance plan for all town buildings that would clear up the problems that led to the need for the work at the fire station. Plans for all the improvements would be drawn up by an architect. 

“There was also some discussion of establishing a Building and Facilities Fund in the future to prevent something like this from happening again,” explained Wolcott Selectboard chair Belinda Clegg. 

During the discussion the board also made it clear that they would like to hold the note for only a two year term rather than the possible five mentioned in the article. 

Following the discussion a motion was made by Robert Harris to amend Article I to set the terms of the loan for two years, per the wishes of the selectboard. The motion was seconded. The amendment passed by voice vote. 

“We told the voters we could set the terms of the loan for up to five years,” explained Clegg, “They asked us what we were comfortable with and we told them we felt two years would be better.”

Once the amendment had passed, the amended version of Article I was also then passed by voice vote. The meeting concluded at roughly 6:30 p.m. 

“I think the meeting went very well,” commented Clegg, adding that the repair work at the fire department is nearly complete.

“It should be completely finished by the middle of January,” added Clegg, “The building will be back in compliance… the fire department should have their gear back in there then and be ready to go.”

Clegg also again emphasized that the town and fire department are going to create a maintenance agreement for the building following the completion of the work in order to prevent any future issues. 

“It will lay out who is responsible for what,” Clegg explained, “we will also be keeping each other informed of what repairs need to be done so that this doesn’t happen again.” 

She also reiterated the fact that a plan will be put in place moving forward for the maintenance of all town buildings.