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Three Money Articles on Special Town Meeting Warrant

With close of the warrant for Special Town Meeting, Saturday - Jan. 26, there will be only three articles and all are money articles totaling more than $8M. Largest will be a request for construction of new Center Fire Station on Farmers Row.

Town Manager Mark Haddad said some 18 companies have taken out bid documents. He expects that this will be a competitive situation. Actual cost is anticipated at $5.9M with another $300K for construction contingency. In addition, there is $1.4M in soft costs such as furniture, exercise equipment, payment of architects, the state-required project manager, and permitting and testing, for a total of $7.6M. This does not include land purchase at $350K or the $150K for Clerk of the Works. Haddad expects all bids to be received and opened by the end of December, providing a clear picture of the project's actual costs.

The second article seeks $135K in funds for application of Sonar, an herbicide to kill invasive weeds that are choking Lost Lake and Knops Pond. There is resident concern that swimmers will get entangled in weeds resulting in injury or loss of life. The requested amount includes three years of spot application to ensure weeds have been eliminated. Sonar has been used successfully on lakes in surrounding towns, and is approved by the EPA and the Commonwealth for use in potable water sources.

The last article asks for "funding for demolition and/or replacement of Fitch's Bridge," that spans Nashua River from the end of Fitch's Bridge Road. Selectmen discussed the meaning of "and/or." They would seek one bid asking only for demolition costs, and a second bid asking for both demolition and erection of a new truss-designed bridge. A new bridge could cost taxpayers $650k to $850k. Haddad said he expects that the bids would be in by Jan. 10 so that costs are well known before town meeting.

Groton Herald

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