WOODBURY — The Board of Selectmen and the Public Building Commission discussed recommendations for maintenance of the town’s public buildings at a special joint meeting on Wednesday, July 31.
Topics included the use of the Parks and Recreation building and the Senior Community Center and other town buildings that a study by the commission determined require attention.
The Parks and Rec building has been a topic of discussion for the Board of Selectmen and the Public Building Commission for more than 20 years.
In a report in November 2018, the commission wrote, “It is the opinion of this Buildings Commission to advise the Board of Selectmen that no more money be spent operating, maintaining or repairing this building.”
First Selectman Barbara Perkinson acknowledged that the Community Theatre at Woodbury uses the building when membera present performancea at the Old Town Hall.
The Board of Selectmen recommended the Public Building Commission complete a structural engineering exam to ensure the safety of the building.
Should the building prove structurally sound, the two panels can then decide on plans for the building.
Commission Chair Wayne Anderson listed the options for the Parks and Recreation building as rehabilitate, tear it down and put in a parking lot, superficial repairs, abandon and sell.
Ms. Perkinson said she received a phone call with a man who said he is willing to buy the building for $1 and move the entire building.
In order to move forward with a more complete study of the building, the commission needs selectmen to decide on a use for the building in order to hire a firm to do a study and determine the cost for repairs.
“It shouldn’t be a dollar amount that decides that building’s fate, it should be use,” Mr. Anderson said. “That piece of property with a house on it is an asset of the town. How best does that asset serve the town?”
Mr. Anderson said the Old Town Hall isn’t being used to its fullest extent because of the lack of parking, as was pointed out by the stack of studies brought to the meeting.
The original idea of moving the Parks and Recreation Department to the basement of the Senior Community Center was changed when Mr. Anderson suggested the basement be used as a community center for people of all ages.
To use the basement, the town would need to install an elevator at the Senior Community Center to meet ADA requirements.
The Board of Selectmen tasked the Public Buildings Commission with finding a new location for the Parks and Recreation Department in the event that the building is deemed structurally unsound, sold, demolished or needs heavy-duty repairs.
Those attending the meeting discussed maintenance repairs for other town buildings.
They addressed the maintenance needed and approved for the Shove Building, specifically the replacement of about 11 storm windows.
Ms. Perkinson said she was working on new screen doors at Old Town Hall.
Talking about the Boyd Building, she mentioned washing the carpets again, but spoke in favor of completely removing them.
Members also discussed the options regarding the air conditioning units in the library.
The Board of Selectmen recently spent $7,000 to have the large air conditioner repaired.
Ms. Perkinson said they would re-evaluate their plan at the end of the year to replace the large air conditioner or the two smaller ones.
The town has put money into the capital budget specifically for this air conditioner for the end of the next fiscal year.
In response to the number of buildings needing repairs, Building Commission members said they look forward to completing a five-year plan.
“We have done what Bill Butterly gave us when I got appointed to the committee; do the inspections and come up with priorities that we felt met the capital budget needs,” said Mr. Anderson.
The Board of Finance is working on a new bond renewal session in the fall to charge the Public Building Commission with a five-year capital plan for the major components for all of the town’s buildings to present to the Board of Selectmen.