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Royalton Wants To Build A Centralized Town Office

Town leaders in Royalton, Vermont want to build a centralized town office. But voters will get the final say on Town Meeting Day.

ROYALTON, Vt.- Town leaders in Royalton, Vermont want to build a centralized town office. But voters will get the final say on Town Meeting Day.

Rose Hemond with the town of Royalton shares her office with one of her co-workers in the basement of the library.

“We don't have enough working space,” said Hemond.

Three other town employees share this area and it doesn't end there.
If you want to see the town listers well they are next door, in a log cabin the town purchased last summer when it ran out of space.

"And we have the law enforcement department working out of office space located in another part of town,” said Hemond.

But this problem is nothing new. Hemond says it's been ongoing since the early 90's when the town began looking for a new space.

“They understand times are hard and they know that they had to put forth the best building for the best price and this is what they've come up with,” said Hemond.

The town wants to move its offices across the river to this space that used to be a car dealership but now its land the town owns. The town plans to knock down the three buildings and build a new town office.

“And that's kind of the vision for growth. Not only to host the town offices but we will have law enforcement there. And eventually we'll have the rescue squad there and perhaps someday even the fire department,” said Hemond.

The town select board tried to pass a 975 thousand dollar bond four years ago but voters turned it down. So in just a few weeks on Town Meeting Day voters will decide the fate of another bond this one for 600 thousand dollars.

“Taxes for Royalton residents would not go up,” said Hemond.

Yes you heard right the town has a plan to pay back the bond without shifting the burden to the taxpayers. Hemond says the land they already own has a gravel pit and the town highway department spends about 72 thousand dollars a year buying gravel. So Hemond says instead of purchasing gravel elsewhere the town will use that savings to sell gravel to itself - to pay back the bond.

“We'll probably have the facilities paid off before we run out of gravel,” said Hemond.

 Town leaders say by moving the police department to the new space, it would save them ten-thousand dollars a year on rent.
 That would go to help pay back the bond as well.  Voters will decide on March 4th whether or not to approve the bond.

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