Williston buys land for new public works facility


The town's highway, sewer and water departments are currently houses in two decades-old buildings.
The town’s highway, sewer and water departments are currently houses in two decades-old buildings.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

The town of Williston purchased 55 acres along Oak Hill Road, just south of Interstate 89, for a new public works facility.

The wooded parcel runs from the Interstate to Partridge Hill Road, not including a parcel where the Thomas Chittenden Health Center is located.

The town signed the paperwork to purchase the land from resident Warren Lyon for $265,500 on Tuesday afternoon, with the closing set to take place before June 15. The town has the land assessed at $267,100.

“It’s not easy finding a piece of land that meets all the different criteria we were looking for, and we believe this does,” Town Manager Rick McGuire said.

The parcel is located near the center of town and the road is far less busy than the Public Works Department’s current facility, located on James Brown Drive off Route 2A.

In March, residents approved a $5.9 million bond to build a new facility. The town’s highway, water and sewer departments had been housed in two decades-old buildings on the edge of town.

McGuire said the town has not yet decided where on the parcel the facility would be built, but guessed it would be closer to the health center than to the Interstate.

Now that the town has acquired the land, it begins the long process of permitting, studying, designing and building the facility.

“We’ve got a long road from here,” McGuire said.

McGuire said the project is moving on schedule, with an anticipated completion date of Jan. 1, 2015. McGuire anticipates most of the construction will be done in 2014.

A task force comprised of Selectboard member Chris Roy and retired Williston engineers Don Phillips and Ken Stone is set to work on the plans.