The DPW Fire Station Advisory Committee met yesterday for a lick-your-wounds strategy session after one of two proposals failed on the floor of Fall Town Meeting.
Specifically the $350,000 requested for a more advanced schematic design phase study of a new DPW building, which seemed like a lot of money compared to the $75,000 Town Meeting approved for an initial Fire Station study.
If the Fire Station can now catch up to the DPW by spring then the Committee will recommend two separate warrant articles for the Annual Town Meeting of around $350,000 each for the required schematic design phase, although most members agreed it would be helpful if each project had identified a building site by then.
The plan still seems to be for the Fire Station to locate where the DPW is now but town officials have now given up on Fort River School as a DPW relocation site.
Chair Lynn Griesemer was adamant the very preliminary proposed "ideal" DPW building is simply too expensive especially given it's three times that of the new Fire Station ($37 million vs $12 million).
Weston & Sampson preliminary cost estimates new DPW
Over the next few months the committee will work with consultants Weston & Sampson to try to bring down the cost which normally does happen once a site is selected.
Another suggestion is for the committee to propose a maximum cap, say $25 million, and ask the consultants what kind of a DPW building can they come up with for that amount.
Anything of course would be an improvement over what they have today.
DPW is located in 100 year old former Trolley repair barn in a really nice neighborhood