DVTA proposes new building again


WILMINGTON -- Administrators for Deerfield Valley Transit Association hope they have come before the Development Review Board for the last time.

"We're proposing a bus maintenance facility and the administrative offices," said engineer Mark Bannon, who has assisted with securing permits for the project. "Right now, that property has a bus maintenance facility working out of the older buildings."

On March 3, the Wilmington Development Review Board heard testimony from DVTA General Manager Randy Schoonmaker and Bannon. There was a previous permit with the same information but DRB approval had expired. The Selectboard waived the application fee for this hearing.

The application is for a 16,100-square-feet maintenance facility, located on 45 Mill Street. If approved, three or four DVTA administrators would move from their building in Dover to Wilmington.

Bids for its construction were opened in February and awarded a couple of weeks ago. Signing of the contract is on hold awaiting the DRB's decision.

"It is an earnest, earnest plea to consider this," said Schoonmaker. "We have all of our permits, all of our grants and all of our financing. This is the last piece. We are holding off on signing the contract. We don't want the contractor to incur any expenses."

According to Moover.com, the site was formerly known as Barnboard Factory and its purchase was financed with federal funds secured by Senator Patrick Leahy.

"The building will feature all of our offices, drivers and mechanics under one roof -- complete with modern maintenance and operational facilities ... The building will feature several maintenance bays, an automated bus wash using recycled water, driver facilities, offices, a fueling station and a barn-like design to maintain the MOOver theme. Construction will start on our before April 1, 2014," the website stated. "The building and site work will cost roughly $4.7 million."

A federal grant of $3,084,000 along with money from the Environmental Protection Agency, Windham Regional Commissioner, Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Wilmington Fund will help pay for the construction.

Bannon spoke of changing the use of "an old run down building" and putting benches on trail paths that lead to the building. Landscaping would also be addressed.

"What this project does is it creates that open space, which is needed in the village," he added.

Additional parking for downtown visitors was another benefit discussed. Schoonmaker said that parking would not be advertised but it would be allowed. Fifty-seven parking spaces are planned for the site in total.

There will not be a meeting room for the public or a second story of the building.

"There's a conference training room for our staff designed for that but not designed for the public," said Schoonmaker.

DRB Chairwoman Nicki Steel said the board would draft a decision as quickly as it could.

"We're down to three members on the board and we have four decisions to write. We have been cranking out decisions as quick as we can," she concluded.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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