The contracts, which includes developing architectural blueprints and determining the eventual cost of the building, were awarded at a meeting of the board on Aug. 28.
"The selectboard now has to consider where the money will come from and how to raise it," said Joe Boutin, Sunderland selectboard chairman. The town has accepted a bid of $24,000 from Dubois & King Inc., a construction firm based in Randolph, to oversee the engineering of the new building. Dubois & King Inc. provides engineering, planning, permitting, and environmental services for projects throughout New England.
Dubois & King Inc. awarded the Sunderland Building Committee a $10,000 grant that has helped this project get started. The committee applied for the grant that Dubois and King Inc. provides every year. They give out two grant per year to municipalitiues in Vermont and New Hampshire. Sunderland has also appointed architect Barry Arthur Hoeg, of Quechee, to work on the project.
Currently, Sunderland's town clerk operates out of an office adjacent to her home, where records are filed and maintained.
Initial work has been concluded on the location and the approximate size of the building. The town hall will be approximately 3,000 square feet on an 11-acre town owned parcel on Sunderland Hill
The town has been exploring building a seperate municipal town office with expanded meeting space as well as a modern vault for current property and historic town records. The project goes back more than a decade and the town has been setting aside a certain amount of money each year during its March Town Meeting to build a fund to pay for its eventual construction. Overall the town has set aside $200,000 for the project.
On Monday, Sept. 10, the Sunderland Building Committee conducted the first joint meeting with the selected firms for the proposed Town Hall Building Project. In the meeting the building committee was able to outline a working timeline and anticipated schedule for completion.
By next March the building should have a clear blueprint and outline of where the funds for the project will be coming from, Boutin said.
"The idea is that at the March town meeting, or directly before town meeting, everything will be in place to present to the Town a blueprint of the building, a cost of construction and a method whereby the town can pay for it," Boutin Said, "The voters should then have the necessary information to make a decision on building the town hall or not."
In addition to the anticipated construction of the town hall, Sunderland is also seeking bids from contractors to work on sections of Kelly Stand Road, which was severely damaged in places during the floods unleashed by Tropical Storm Irene.
Work on the Kelly Stand will include excavation of the Roaring Branch river channel to move the river flow back to what it was before the storm struck as well as fill and fortify the ditch along the road. Remaining debris will also have to be removed.
A pre-bid meeting was held on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with the State officials involved in the permitting process and the Forest Service engineer, (next time, get their names and specific titles) for contractors interested and able to start work on the Roaring Branch project. The project must be completed by Oct. 1 so the board would like to get started on it as soon as possible, Boutin said.
All bids must be submitted by 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 to the Town Clerk's office. A decision on the bids is expected later that day.