Town Hall addition advances

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BY ANDREAS YILMA

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — The borough is moving ahead with plans to develop an addition to Town Hall and free up some much needed space in its offices.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on June 6 approved a contract with Olympus Construction, a division of Cattaruzza of Milford, totaling $172,000 for first-floor modifications that will relocate the tax collector’s office.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said $100,000 will come from five-year capital plan and $72,000 is anticipated to come from a surplus in fiscal 2023. Borough officials have been discussing the addition for several years, he said.

The plans include adding 391 square feet underneath the overhang on the front, or west, side of the building.

“We’ll be building an addition … in the lobby and we’ll be relocating the tax department fully to the lobby which will open up space on the third floor where we’ll now place our grant director,” Hess said. “The building department has expanded. (Public Works Director) Jim Stewart and his team will be moving in there.”

Deputy Mayor Robert A. Neth said he thinks it’s going to be perfect for Town Hall.

“A new section to be more efficient for the tax office, and also opens up the space on the third floor for those different departments that need to expand a little bit,” Neth said.

Stewart said the project is expected to take six months.

The idea took root at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when most of Town Hall was closed to residents, except for the lobby, where they could pay taxes and get information. Town Hall, which was built in 1960, has just over 24,500 square feet.

Hess said people love to walk into Town Hall and pay their taxes even though they can pay through other ways such as mail.

The renovations will provide “a better, efficient use of the Town Hall facilities,” Hess said.