Windsor considers construction

Published 10:25 pm Friday, December 16, 2016

By Stephen Faleski

Special to the News-Herald

Windsor Town Council, during its December meeting on Tuesday, put plans for a new public works building on hold until its January work session.

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During that session, council expects to set priorities for the town’s various construction projects, including renovations to the gym at the former high school, plans for a new municipal building and sidewalk plans for Church Street and Shiloh Drive.

The vote came about as a result of what Councilwoman Patty Flemming referred to as “sticker shock” when council heard the revised cost of the proposed building, now estimated to be approximately $738,000.

The initial cost estimate for the proposed 4,000-square-foot, pre-engineered metal building was $230,000. But, according to Town Manager Michael Stallings, that estimate was for just the building and did not take into account the substantial site work that would need to be completed before construction can begin.

Stallings said the location would need significant modifications to meet state and federal storm water management requirements, which the town had been hoping to avoid but now must include in its plans. He said the $230,000 figure is still a fairly accurate estimate for the actual construction costs for the building itself.

Flemming and Windsor Mayor Carita Richardson were both reluctant to approve construction projects that might require a tax increase. Several residents approached Richardson and Flemming at the Isle of Wight tree lighting ceremony and expressed concerns that building the new municipal center would result in higher taxes.

“I think people, when they saw the article in the newspaper on the new administration building — they thought it was going to be built this year,” Richardson said. “This council has been very good at not raising taxes. What we’re doing is having the design done and looking at what we need to do for infrastructure. We have money to pay for that. I guarantee you we are going to have the money that we need to do that.”

“One of the reasons I ran for mayor was I felt the money was not being spent as efficiently as it could,” she added. “We’ve been able to save enough money to buy the five-acre lot by Farmer’s Bank and the police station. I and all council members, as far as I know, are not planning on raising taxes.”

Council also voted unanimously to transfer $100,000 from the town’s $500,000 water fund to pay off one or more of the town’s loans.

Toward the end of the meeting, Richardson announced that Dennis Carney, Windsor’s director of planning and zoning, will be leaving the town at the end of the year to become the Keysville Town Manager. Carney has served Windsor for six years and eight months.

There will also be an election for Windsor’s vice mayor in January, who will serve a two-year term.

The council concluded by voting unanimously to give Christmas bonuses of $200 to all full-time town employees and $100 for part-time employees who have been with the town for at least one year.