Town Hall plans to be finished for Town Meeting

WILTON – Plans for the renovation of the north end of Town Hall are being finalized in order to have costs for a warrant article at Town Meeting.

Architect Alison Meltzer and Fire Chief Jim Cutler met with selectmen on Monday, Jan. 23, to discuss codes and safety issues.

The arrangement of offices has been changed, with the town administrator and selectmen’s office moving to the new north end. The building inspector and town assessor will move into the current selectmen’s rooms at the south end, and a conference room is planned for the area behind the courtroom. There are also several new storage areas.

The plan includes removing the large painting in the courtroom and replacing it with a window to allow natural light into the conference room. Where the painting would be put wasn’t discussed.

The painting is a rendering of an old picture, circa 1905, of historic Wilton. It was painted in 1976, and depicts the area along the river just north of downtown.

The plans include upgrading wiring and heating and making the men’s restroom ADA compliant.

Since Town Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there is some leeway in meeting codes, but Meltzer said they would all be met “as far as possible.”

Cutler commented on the direction of opening the restroom door where fire safety codes and ADA codes can’t both be met. It was decided to go with safety.

Cutler also questioned why an upgrade of the fire alarm system wasn’t included, since doing it now would be the logical, and easier, time to do it. Meltzer said she hadn’t been authorized to include it.

Selectman Bill Condra said the cost was a factor.

“I’ve talked to the Budget Committee, and they are already saying it is too much money,” he said.

Ingram Construction of Swanzey has been selected as the general contractor of the project. It has provided a “ballpark figure” of about $259,000.

Meltzer said the bids would be going out to subcontractors this week.