SHAFTSBURY >> The select board heard a presentation from Morton Buildings on Monday regarding the town garage they constructed in Rupert.
Morton representative Steve Barden, out of the Castleton office, first met with three members of the board last week to discuss the garage, which board members hope can serve as a model for a new garage in Shaftsbury. "He answered a lot of questions for us, so we invited him here so the full board could hear what we heard," said chairman Tim Scoggins at the board's regular meeting on Monday.
"We do several municipal projects every year, along with a wide variety of other types of buildings," said Barden, who said that, because they were interested in a garage that closely matches Rupert's the preliminary planning would already be completed, should Shaftsbury choose them to complete the work.
"One thing that came up in our initial meeting," said Scoggins, "is that as a municipal entity, we have a purchasing policy. Usually, when we are purchasing something this large, we seek closed bids on that sort of thing. In this situation, we've all seen the building in Rupert, we all like the building in Rupert, and we want a building just like that. We could choose to bypass the purchasing policy and go sole source, and ask Morton to build the building they built in Rupert." However, Scoggins said, Barden had expressed willingness to work within the town's bidding process, and provide specificiations for the building to other bidders, for a fee. "In our first bidding process, we got a set of plans from MSK that we put out to bid, not we'd be getting a set of specifications from Morton to put out to bid," he said.
Barden said the specifications, which include not just designs for the building, but detailed material lists as well, would cost the town about $10,000, whether they eventually contract with Morton for the construction or not.
Town administrator David Kiernan said that, when he was a member of the Sunderland Select Board, that town replaced their town hall, and went through a similar, in which they invited contractors to purchase specifications and submit bids. "With this type of detail in a plan, and putting it out to bid, I don't know how many bids it would generate," said Kiernan. However, he said, if multiple bids are received, having detailed specifications allows for apples to apples comparisons.
Barden said that one of the benefits of working with Morton is the warranty the company offers. If anything goes wrong with the building, he said, the town won't have to track down individual merchants: everything will be handled through Morton. "It's all Morton buildings," he said, "We design it, we manufacture it, we deliver it, we build it. We don't pass that warranty off to someone else, it's all us."
The Shaftsbury Select Board meets the first and third Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Cole Hall on Buck Hill Road in Shaftsbury. Full recordings of their meetings are available on Catamount Access Television, and on the station's YouTube page.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.