HINSDALE, N.H. -- An extensive improvement project slated for Monument Road will have to be bonded out for financing.
Mike Darcy, chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, said workshops are held every year in order for selectmen to review and potentially recommend the articles put on the town warrant, and the Monument Road project will have its own designated time for input because it is so massive. The workshop is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Hinsdale Town Hall.
Michael S. Vignale, principal engineer with KV Partners LLC of New Boston, visited town hall last Monday to go over with the selectmen Monument Road design details. The project consists of a reconstruction of the entire two-and-a-half to three miles of the road -- from Old Brattleboro Road to Plain Road. Vignale said the work, which will be split into two phases, will cost an estimated $2,711,060 and include widening the road from roughly 24 feet to about 30 feet. It also will entail rebuilding the whole road, rehabilitating its surface and subsurface and improving drainage.
Vignale told the selectmen the first phase of the project would include Old Brattleboro Road to Meeting House Road. The estimated construction cost is $1,078,644, with an additional 20 percent ($215,729) in construction engineering and contingency. This would run $294 per foot of roadway. Phase 2 would pick up at Meeting House Road and continue to Plain Road. According to Vignale's figures, construction of the second phase would cost an estimated $1,180,573, with an extra $236,115 to cover construction engineering and contingency.
Selectman Jay Ebbighausen asked Vignale if it would be more costly to break down the project into even more phases, and Vignale said it would. Darcy said he was happy with where Vignale decided to split the project into phases.
"I personally think if you're going to do two phases, there's a good break right there," he said. "It's a logical break."
Once Vignale was finished, Mike Darcy, chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, thanked him for his presentation, which he called "enlightening."
Town Administrator Jill Collins said Monument Road came into play because that is where a lot of economic development is located and there is a tax increment financial district there.
"It's a pretty heavily traveled road. We've done a lot of work on Plain Road, so Monument Road is one of the frontiers that we're undertaking," she said after the meeting. "And, of course, as you can see, we have to take a little at a time because these jobs aren't cheap."
Collins said though the project will be bonded out, there is some money set aside in a capital reserve fund, though that will go toward the engineering and contingency costs. She and the selectmen believe the project will consist of more than one warrant article at Town Meeting Day. The warrant articles will ask citizens if they approve of acquiring the bond(s) necessary to move forward with the project.
"I don't have much money in my piggy bank," Darcy joked after the meeting.
Collins said the town conducted a study on Monument Road in 2003 and town officials knew the improvement project would be expensive after having work done on it due to flooding in 2005, when a culvert had to be replaced. She said the town was waiting to pay down bond debt from a four-phase Old Chesterfield Road project, which was started around 1996 and finished a few years ago, before taking on a new one.
In other business: Collins explained the tax rate has been set at $25.85 per $1,000 of value. She said the town rate is $6.43, the local school rate is $13.74, the state school rate is $2.48 and the county rate is $3.20.
Collins said the third-quarter tax bills are due by Tuesday, Feb. 18, and the fourth-quarter bills are due by Monday, March 31. She also said the town valuation was $351,434,637.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.