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GELD Gets Final Approval for New Facility: Ground Breaking for New Building Expected by June 2013

Groton Electric Light Department received final town board approval necessary for their long-awaited new building on Station Ave. The process, which began in October 2010, starting with a demolition delay permit, then some 15 months of back and forth with the Conservation Commission before they approved the plan, followed by productive meetings with the Design Review Committee and culminating December 13, with a majority vote of the Planning Board who granted a Site Plan approval and a Special Permit for the project. They also approved the six requested waivers for the project. As was the case in the previous week, Planning Board member Tim Svarczkopf was the lone dissenting vote on both GELD project motions.

GELD Manager Kevin Kelly said that the next move for the town's public utility is to begin architectural and engineering designs for the interior of the building. "It is full speed ahead and our expectation is that at the earliest we can break ground is June 2013," he said. He added that GELD will continue to work with the Design Review Committee as the project moves forward.

Planning Board Chairman John Giger read a letter into the record from Selectmen that supported the GELD building proposal, noting that it is in the best interest of town taxpayers and ratepayers. Because the utility will continue its presence on Station Ave., it will bring people into the center where some 800 residents pay their monthly GELD bills in person.

GELD Attorney Bob Collins and GELD Commissioner Kevin Lindemer told the Planning Board that the Design Review Committee made excellent contributions to the GELD plan. DRC is an advisory committee appointed by the Planning Board and is charged with specific reviews based on the town center's Design Guidelines.

According to Land Use Director Michelle Collette, the next step for GELD is to submit a proposal for a permit for their sign and this will also include details on the logo design that will be incorporated into the cupola. Sign requests are reviewed and approved by the Planning Board.

Groton Herald

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