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Waitsfield

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  • 23 Jul 2014

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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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Voters approve town office bond, water for Eagles

Waitsfield voters passed a bond vote for up to $650,000 to build new town offices at the Farm Stand site in Waitsfield Village by a vote of 309-209 (60 percent to 40 percent) on July 30.

Voters also authorized a loan of $200,000 to extend municipal water to Eagles Resort by a vote of 427-89 (89 percent to 17 percent).

Waitsfield has 1,441 voters on the checklist and 519 of them voted on July 30.

The town office bond approval clears the way for the town to begin the environmental assessment of the new town offices which are to be built on a parcel of land at the eastern edge of Flemer Field at the north end of the village.

Waitsfield has a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant to be used for the town office project – the total cost of which is estimated to be $1,203,787 (which includes a 15 percent contingency line item). With the grant the town estimates that the actual voter contribution to the cost of the project will be $453,787.

This spring, town voters turned down a $1.6 million bond vote for the project at Town Meeting, prompting the town to shrink the project in size and scope. In the interim, the town also received word that it had been awarded the $750,000 grant.

At Town Meeting, Waitsfield had 1,448 registered voters and 588 of them voted by Australian ballot with 351 voting no on the first version of the town office project and 229 voting yes, with eight ballots left blank.

The OK to extend the water project to Eagles Resort means that that project will go out to bid as soon as possible once permitting and engineering and archeological work has been completed. The Eagles' wells have run dry and the town can extend its municipal water project from Fiddlers Green under Route 100 and the Mill Brook to reach the resort.

The project will add more users to the water system, reducing costs for all users, and extend fire protection further to the south. The carrying costs of the new loan will be paid for by user fees from Eagles Resort.

At Town Meeting and at this week's vote there was a contingent of voters who opposed building new town offices in favor of rehabilitating the former Methodist Church in Waitsfield Village. The town had applied for the Community Development Block Grant for both the Farm Stand site and the church but was awarded the grant only for the Farm Stand. Cost estimates for the projects showed that the church was more expensive by $391,434 to $552,060.

Should church supporters petition for a revote, they have 30 days to do so.

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