Pownal officials eye Route 7 property for potential new town office


POWNAL >> A committee charged with finding a new home for the town offices has asked the Select Board to consider a Route 7 property.

The Town Office Committee has proposed The Roost office building at 2207 Route 7, which is up for sale, for a potential new town office, rather than new construction.

In a letter to the Select Board, read by Chairman Richard Ryder on Thursday, the committee requested the board meet with the property owner to negotiate a price and timeline for possible purchase.

The committee, which is chaired by Frank Lamb, stated it will request its architect estimate how much it would for a renovation, following criteria its used for a new building that was already proposed.

The Roost office building is owned by Michael Chapman of Williamstown, Mass. It was built in 1989 and is listed at $295,000, according to its real estate listing from Alton & Westall Real Estate Agency, LLC of Williamstown.

Officials maintain the town has outgrown its offices at 467 Center St. The TOC was established in 1993. Many sites were considered over the years — including the former Bartels Lodge, which the town purchased but later demolished — and officials have had concerns that renovating a space could cost more than new construction.

The committee proposed 5,962-square-foot building designed by Line-Sync Architecture of Wilmington that would be placed at the end of Center Street, the former site of the lodge, and cost about $1 million. But at a well-attended meeting last month, residents spoke out against the proposal and argued the town renovate an existing building.

The board agreed that they wanted to tour the building before entering any negotiations with Chapman.

"I don't see us entering into a contract with Chapman until we know what it will cost to renovate the building," board Vice Chairman Nelson Brownell said. "But I do think we can ask him what the price is going to be."

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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