Lincoln moves forward on new town office plan

LINCOLN — An ad hoc committee of residents appointed by the Lincoln selectboard will meet Wednesday to finalize a recommendation to the board on how to proceed with building a new town office building.
The committee has been working since September on the proposal, and will meet on Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the present town office.
Selectman Bill Finger said the town has had discussions about replacing the 45-year-old town office building since 2009. He said the growth of the town has rendered the structure too small.
“The population has increased from 500 to 1,200, so the sheer size of need of space has gone up,” Finger said, adding that new inventions since the 1970s, like computers, fax machines and copiers, have necessitated larger office spaces.
Finger also said the vault is too small to store all the town’s important documents, and the building lacks proper security.
The new plan, which is not yet finished, calls for a renovation and expansion of the existing structure. Finger said the town will have a better idea of what the project will cost after Wednesday’s meeting.
He said a public information meeting Jan. 8 drew a large turnout, as the project is of interest to many townspeople. Lincoln will hold more public information sessions in the future, ahead of Town Meeting Day. That’s when, if a proposal is approved, voters will have the change to weigh in on it.
Separately, a small committee has also been working on updating the traffic ordinance for the town. The committee is looking at making some speed limit changes on some parts of the River Road as well as in South Lincoln and Downingsville. 
Another item under consideration by the committee is creating a “school zone” around the elementary and preschools and examining the traffic and bus stops around the center of town.
Finally, Lincoln selectboard member Barb Rainville said she will not be seeking re-election, after six years on the board. Anyone who wishes to run for a town office must submit a nominating petition at the town office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26. Signatures from 1 percent of registered voters (11 signatures) are required. 

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