NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Details of a proposed Department of Public Works facility at 371 Douglas Road in Northbridge was explained to 10 residents who attended a neighborhood meeting Wednesday night.
Hosted by DPW Director James Shuris and Town Manager Theodore Kozak, the goal was to answer as many questions as possible about the proposal prior to the Dec. 4 special town meeting.
Voters are being asked to purchase the former Old Colony building on Douglas Road for $995,000 and spend $2.1 million retrofitting the building for DPW use.
Shuris explained his biggest concern is sheltering DPW vehicles, which are currently kept outside. “Right now we have $2 million in assets outside rusting away,’’ Shuris said.
He is also concerned for his workers who, before they start plowing roads, are scraping windshields with one hand while holding flashlights in the other.
Residents were assured the operation will be clean and quiet. Trucks will be stored in the building, but the salt shed and sand pile will remain at the current DPW facility on Fletcher Street.
“We will be good neighbors and if you have complaints, we will listen to you,’’ Kozak said.
The $2.1 million also includes some money to improve the Fletcher Street site, including demolishing two decaying wood buildings and putting in new doors and a roof on the brick building that currently houses all DPW operations.
A question and answer pamphlet on the proposal was given to residents who were encouraged to call Shuris or Kozak with questions that weren’t addressed Wednesday.
The special town meeting on Dec. 4 begins at 7 p.m. at Northbridge Middle School, 171 Linwood Ave.
If the plan is approved, a special election will be held Dec. 17 at which voters will be asked to borrow the $3.1 million, the debt excluded from Proposition 2-½, which restricts tax rate growth to 2.5 percent each year.
The loan will cost taxpayers with homes valued at $265,000 an average $38.53 per year, $9 per quarter, over the 20-year life of the loan.