NEW SHARON — Voters will be asked on Dec. 3 to consider a proposal to remove the current Town Office building down to the foundation, and build a new fire station at the front of the structure and to use space at the back of the building to conduct town operations.

An information session on the proposal is set for 6 to 6:30 p.m. to be followed at 6:30 p.m. for a vote at the Masonic Hall on Routes 2 and 27.

The Town Office, which formerly housed a school and Regional School Unit 9 Central Office, was built in 1949. The office is at 11 School Lane, off of Cape Cod Hill Road.

The office temporarily closed Oct. 8  after a steel furnace pipe wrapped in asbestos burst in a storage room. The ruptured line spewed boiling water and steam into the room and steam rolled toward the front of the building.

The asbestos was removed Nov. 1 so a heating company could reattach the pipe, Selectman Travis Pond said at the time. A repair crew was to investigate the cause of the rupture.

The Board of Selectmen continue to deal with the “never-ending saga” with regard to the continual structural decline of the Town Office building, according to a release by selectmen.

The proposal to build a fire station in the front of the building and allow for space at the back for town operations is an effort to reduce the cost and timeframe for completion, keeping the cost to taxpayers as low as possible.

“As we continue to navigate the broken pipes, steam and water damage, asbestos, roof leaks, mold, poor air quality” among other issues, “we have also been working nonstop, along with our Building Committee and engineer A.E. Hodsdon, as well as our Fire Department and other town officials to bring a solution to voters,” according to the release.

Selectmen are expected to finalize the town meeting warrant Tuesday.

The town has the opportunity to use the church vestry next to the Town Office during construction to keep services nearby.

The board is also seeking approval to sell the firehouse at 68 Main St., a dead-end road, to get that property back on the tax roll.

Selectmen have heard from many residents who said they back the plan for the new building, according to the release.

In 2017, voters rejected a $1.8 million proposal to build a town office and fire station at the Town Office site. The vote was 71-58. At the time, voters had been told the building had mold and the kitchen, restrooms and other rooms downstairs are not usable.


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