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Westport seeks new options for old buildings

About 40 residents from the town of Westport turned out for a public meeting on the future of three town structures Dec. 2 at the town hall. The town is looking to replace the town highway garage and fire house while renovating the hall.

About 40 residents from the town of Westport turned out for a public meeting on the future of three town structures Dec. 2 at the town hall. The town is looking to replace the town highway garage and fire house while renovating the hall. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

—  The town of Westport is trying a new approach to solve their infrastructure issues.

With continually deteriorating conditions at the town hall, Westport Fire House and Department of Public Works garage, the town officials met with representatives of Vermont Integrated Architecture to talk with about 40 members of the community on a new set of plans to renovate the town hall and replace the fire house and garage Dec. 2.

Supervisor Dan Connell said the meeting was organized to start looking at a new way to attack an issue that had been at the center of two previously failed town referendums.

“I have been asked why the town and the fire district are looking at this because the residents have already voted no,” Connell said. “We had put a project together where everything was going to be built as one and the school was involved. We still have problems with these buildings and those are not going to go away. This is a much different project now then the one that was defeated.”

Connell said the issues have been separated into two committees, one looking at the renovations to the town hall and the other looking at where to relocate the fire department and highway garage.

“Our main intent tonight is to have a conversation with the town,” councilman and town hall committee member Dan McCormick said. “We have not made any decisions at this point and we are still gathering information. This is not going to be a one time meeting. As we move forward, we still want to hear from you and get your feedback.”

McCormick said the time had come to start looking at more permanent solutions to the problems that had been plaguing the town facilities.

“If you have an old car and you keep putting money into it, there is a time where that can be money well spent and then there comes a time where you have to start looking at the alternatives,” McCormick said.

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