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Voters in Waterbury Head Back to Polls

On Town Meeting Day people said ‘yes’ to a new town office complex; but now some people want to reverse that decision.
WATERBURY, Vt.-  A five million dollar project once approved by voters in Waterbury, VT is back up for a vote. On Town Meeting Day people said ‘yes’ to a new town office complex; but now some people want to reverse that decision. Next week voters will head back to the polls to decide whether the original vote will stand.

For the last three years the town offices in Waterbury have been boarded up, all because of Tropical Storm Irene.

“I believe a foot to two feet of water was on the first floor,” said John Grenier, Waterbury Selectboard member.

Grenier says he moved offices a few times until setting up shop in the fire department.

“It’s not ideal, but we are making it work,” said Grenier.

On Town Meeting Day voters approved a five million dollar plan to build new town offices; but a petition with more than 200 signatures was submitted to take the vote back. Those opposed say it’s because they believe there are better options for the new town offices.

“And here we are waiting for the rescission vote,” said Barbara Farr, Waterbury Long Term Recovery Director.

Farr says this is the second plan the town has put forth. The first was rejected by voters last year and would have cost almost 8 million dollars.

“The total project cost is now coming in at $4.95 million, so almost three million dollars cheaper than the other project,” said Farr.

Farr says the town would need to take out a two million dollar bond and for an average home costing 250 thousand dollars that would raise taxes about 85 dollars a year.

“So time is money, the longer this goes the more it’s going to cost,” said Farr.

The plan for the new building is to build an addition to the town library. That would not only expand the library's space but it would also house the town offices.

“If you want the plan to stay - you oppose the rescission,” said Grenier.

There is a final public hearing Thursday night at 6:30 at the Thatcher Brook Primary School. Early voting is open through Monday at the town offices in the second floor of the fire department.

The polls open on Tuesday from 7 A.M – 7 P.M at St. Leo's Hall.

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