Northbridge Selectmen Support Douglas Road DPW Plan

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From left, Northbridge BPCC members Tim Doiron and Patrick Moynihan, and DPW Director James Shuris, explain the Douglas Road project to the Board of Selectmen. Photo Credit: Deborah Gauthier

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The Northbridge Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Monday night to support a $3.1 million Department of Public Works facility on Douglas Road that goes before voters at a Special Town Meeting on Dec. 4.

Selectman James Marzec was the dissenting vote. He supported a $1.8 million DPW facility proposal rejected by voters at the fall annual town meeting in October.

That proposal was a 12,000-square-foot facility designed by local engineer Neal Mitchell. Proponents said that facility could have been built at the current DPW site on Fletcher Street or at the wastewater treatment facility on Providence Road for an estimated cost of $1.8 million.

Members of the Building, Planning and Construction Committee and the Finance Committee did not believe the estimate was accurate and recommend rejection.

Both committees support the Douglas Road plan.

Marzec said he believes the designer and proponents of the $1.8 proposal were held to higher standards than that of the Douglas Road project.

The proposal that goes before voters on Dec. 4 is a two-phase plan – purchase of the 19,200-square-foot Old Colony building on Douglas Road for $995,000, which will be retrofitted for DPW use for $2.1 million.

Department of Public Works Director James Shuris said a study conducted by HKT Architects confirmed his department needs a 19,000-square-foot facility to meet its needs now and into the future.

The Douglas Road proposal is the third DPW proposal to come before voters, noted Selectman Thomas J. Melia, and he believes it’s the last time it will be addressed. “Three times and you’re out,” he said.

“The bottom line is our boards have come forward in support of this. That’s enough for me. I’ve listened,” he said, adding, “Let’s back them for once in the best interests of the town of Northbridge.”

If the project is approved, voters will be asked at a special election on Dec. 17 to fund it with a $3.1 million debt exclusion outside of Proposition 2 ½.

The debt exclusion 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.

Selectman Charles Ampagoomian asked Marzec to reconsider his vote for the sake of unity.

Marzec said he wasn’t prepared to do that. “If something changes before town meeting, I may change my mind,” he said.

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Comments (6)

Celtic:

I just can't see having 2 DPW facilities. It seems so inconvenient and costly to maintain both places. Has everyone forgotten what real winters are like?

gusjr.:

You people are tapped in the head the D.P.W. project is a big win win! But as long as all you un educated know it alls keep thinking Mr. Marzecs I'm taking my ball and going home attitude, because i'm not getting my way is the best thing for the town then i guess the great-great grand children of our current Firefighters should prepare to make an attempt to build a new fire sta. and i guess the same great-great grand children should plan on building a new D.P.W.!!!

Jokersfour:

gusjr.:

You are barking up the wrong tree our excellent Board Of Selectman James Marzec tried to get the DPW Employee's an excellent brand spanking new drive thru DPW, Washbay, Saltshed, and fix a Town RR Crossing at the Providence Road Waste Water Treatment Plant area in the Fall of 2010 for $2.1 Million Dollars.

gusjr.: You may need to review the Video Of The Fall 2010 Town Meeting to refresh your memory, check with the Towns new Local Cable location just east of the famous Rockdale Commons at the American Legion in Rockdale.

Could one way be how we may ever get a new DPW or a Fire Station, is like how the Uxbridge Town Employee's attained their new Town facility on Rt-16 in Uxbridge next to the VFW??

gusjr.: Do your HOMEWORK and you will find out that Mr. Marzec has always been at the Tip Of The Spear and trying to get a new affordable DPW for the Town.

Mrbojangles:

The way things are going with the Economy I doubt it will pass, maybe try again in the future? Shore up the present DPW until Congressman James McGovern may be able to help the Town., DPW?, Fire Station??

Bunky Hughes:

Kudos to Selectman Marzec for standing his ground. Townspeople vote 'NO' for this insane proposal. Our town leaders are shoving this down our throats in order to get this DPW project off their backs. The DPW belongs at only one location and that is on Fletcher Street where they currently are. Bring back the Mitchell plan for 1.8 million. To reiterate Mr. Shuris, this is 'NOT' a win-win situation for the town.

SonnyinOZ:

" This Taxpayer Has No Money, For A DPW"!

I will be Voting 'NO' because I have 'No Money' like the Town when I called about the Surcharge on my Water Bill! Or when I have other concerns, The Town Has No Money!

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