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Public Forum for DPW-School Maintenance Facility Scheduled for Monday

Residents are invited to attend a public forum at Town Hall on Monday, Sept. 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Town Manager and Department of Public Works Director will discuss the current plan for the construction and renovation of the facility, which will remain at the current Whipple Road site.

In a March Select Board meeting, DPW director Brian Gilbert and Jeff Alberti of design, engineering and environmental services firm Weston & Sampson presented an update on the plans.

“Why does the town need a new facility?” asked Alberti. “You have a multi-million-dollar fleet that you need to protect.”

In addition, he said, the workplace for town employees does not comply with building codes, from sprinklers to ADA to egress to fire separations, and he pointed out that the school maintenance operation is currently without a permanent facility to work from, so the town must rent space for school equipment.

“This all results in operational inefficiencies,” he said.

The cost for the combined facility has been further reduced since March, and this meeting will be an opportunity for residents to review the current plan and ask questions prior to Fall Special Town Meeting on Oct. 3, where voters will be asked to authorize borrowing within the levy limit to renovate portions of the facility and add some additional space.

Montuori confirmed on Tuesday that there will be no debt exclusion for the project. He also pointed out that interest rates are climbing, and costs are likely to increase.

Lorna is a 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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