Council Approves Town Building Renovations, Vehicle Purchases

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Charlie Breitrose

A view of what the current Watertown Free Public Library.

Watertown Free Public Library.

Charlie Breitrose

The Watertown Free Public Library is one of the town buildings that will receive improvements under the adopted Capital Improvement Plan.

Watertown’s capital improvement plans will focus on repairs to the some schools, library, two fire stations and Town Hall, as well as purchasing new vehicles.

Tuesday night, the Council approved the Fiscal 2016-20 Capital Improvement Plan Tuesday night. See the entire list of recommendations adopted by the council by clicking here.

The Council is working on the Fiscal 2016 budget, which begins on July 1, 2015. But it also includes recommendations from Fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015. This puzzled Councilor Susan Falkoff, since those budgets have already been adopted.

Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, chair of the Budget and Fiscal Oversight Committee, said some of the projects took time to get ready.

“We don’t want to borrow money until we are ready to spend it,” Piccirilli said. “We want a hard cost before we borrow it and know when we are going to start.”

Councilor Cecilia Lenk said the town has used an on-call architect, which has helped get more projects ready, and also saved money.

“They not only to they look at the building, but made recommendations better and less costly that what was originally proposed,” Lenk said.

One example, Lenk said, was that the slate roof of the Watertown Free Public Library can be repaired, rather than completely replaced.

From the FY13 list, the plan includes money to repair some town buildings:

  • Administration Building (Town Hall) improvements for $852,000
  • Library improvements (slate roof and other renovations) – $325,000 (Another $100,00 for library improvements were adopted as part of the FY14 list).
  • $500,000 for improvements to the town’s three stations, with work on the North and East fire stations to be completed as quickly as possible

The Library will also get $65,000 to buy a library radio frequency ID system to prevent people from stealing books and other material.

The plan includes several projects for the school. From the FY16 list:

  • $75,000 for Hosmer walkway/stair replacement
  • $310,000 for Middle School window replacement, which is subject to approval of the Mass School Building Authority Accelerated Repair Statement of Interest for and the 48.47 percent reimbursement
  • $75,000 for replacement of Middle School science laboratory equipment, the first of a two-year $150,000 project
  • $215,500 for High School corridor safety doors and courtyard/2nd floor window replacement, subject to approval of the Mass School Building Authority Core Program Statement of Interest and 48.47 percent reimbursement

Two other school projects approved Tuesday are replacement of the unit ventilators at the Hosmer School for $595,000 and floor replacement at the Middle School for $175,000.

The Police Department will receive a microwave link and computers for $111,000.

The Fire Department will receive a new ambulance at a cost of $235,000.

The Department of Public Works will get a slew of new equipment:

  • A 55000 GVW tri-axle Dump Truck for $160,000
  • A 41000 GVW Dump Truck for $152,000
  • A Highway Department Crew Truck for $120,000
  • A 4WD Deicing Snow-Fighter for $230,000
  • A Central Motors Pickup Truck for $48,000
  • A Superintendent Vehicle for $42,000
  • A Highway Dept one-ton Dump Truck for $85,000
  • A Cemetery Off-road Dump Truck for $92,000
  • A Parks/Forestry Dept one-ton Dump Truck for $85,000
  • A Parks/Forestry Dept Tree Chipper for $74,000


Improvements to the John A. Ryan Skating Arena have been approved –  a new scoreboard and exit doors, for $34,000.

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