Petition Might Require New Vote on Firehouse

Front Page / Sep. 8, 2016 9:22am EDT

By M. D. Drysdale

Site work for the new Randolph Village firehouse wrapped up this week, but two roadblocks have appeared that likely will delay actual construction.

A petition was filed at the Town Clerk’s office to have a re-vote on the bond issue that will finance the building. The 30-year bond in the amount of $2.4 million was approved Aug. 9.

Town Clerk Joyce Mazzucco said that the petition, which was submitted two days before the deadline, contained 175 names, 30 more than is needed. However, she cannot certify the petition as valid until she inspects all the names and addresses to ensure that they are legitimate.

If the petition is valid, another vote would have to be held to pass a bond issue of the same amount, or perhaps a reduced one.

Zoning Problems, Too

Construction also awaits the outcome of a new site application to the Development Review Board (DRB) concerning the design of the building itself.

That board recently rejected the building plan proposed by the town. The proposed building would extend within 10 feet of the property line on the east side, while the zoning ordinance requires 20 feet.

The town is now submitting a new application to the DRB which angles the building so that the distance to the next building will be 17 feet. The firehouse would have the same square footage as the previous proposal. The town is hoping that the zoning board can accept that compromise with a waiver.

The board, however, will have to treat the application as a new one. It will take up the application at a public hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Randolph Town Hall.

The site work has had to blast through more ledge than was expected, Town Manager Mel Adams said last week. A “spine” of ledge runs through the property toward the hill in back but spreads out more than anticipated.

In response, contractors unloaded what appeared to be truckloads of huge mattresses on the site. In fact, Adams said, they are indeed a lot like mattresses—massive, heavy ones made from old rubber and steel scraps. They are placed over a blasting site, with the result that an underground blast results in only a brief “puff” at the surface.

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