Middlebury town building project within budget

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard learned on Tuesday that costs for the town’s new recreation facility and municipal building are projected to come in slightly under budget.
Figures provided by Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay indicate the combined costs for the recreation building on Creek Road and the town offices at 77 Main St. are coming in at $7,185,380. Bid results for construction of the two projects have come in at $3,696,391 for the town office building and $3,488,989 for the recreation facility.
That overall figure is about $2,100 less than the budget, which includes $4.5 million in debt service through Middlebury College, $2 million from the town, another $1 million from the college to clear the current municipal building/gym site at 94 Main St., $400,000 from UD-3 school district taxpayers for the team-rooms addition for the recreation center, and an additional $287,550 from the college for energy efficiency components of the project. Those components add up to a total budget of $7,187,550.
Ramsay said the budget includes an additional $400,000 in contingency funds to address unforeseen emergency expenses that might crop up after construction begins this spring. Work crews have already started re-routing power lines under the site of the new town office.
“We are confident we will complete the project within budget, without compromising quality,” Ramsay said.
The selectboard also on Tuesday announced a draft settlement of an assessment grievance that had been filed by Vermont Hard Cider last summer.
Town Assessor Bill Benton had assigned an assessed value of $8,926,000 for the company’s new cidery at 1321 Exchange St. Vermont Hard Cider countered with an independent appraisal of the property suggesting a valuation of $3.6 million based on the level of completion on April 1 (around 90 percent).
The two sides have spent recent months in negotiations that have yielded a draft agreement that the Exchange Street property be valued at $7.5 million, according to Ramsay. That valuation awaits formal approval by the town and leaders of Vermont Hard Cider.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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