State finalizes plans to move police barracks

A rendering by Burlington-based architects Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz of a proposed new Vermont Public Safety facility to be located on St. George Rd. [Image obtained from the Town of Williston website on October 14, 2021.]

The State of Vermont seeks Williston Development Review Board approval to build a new state police barracks on a forested 51-acre parcel off St. George Road.

The project is on the board’s Oct. 26 agenda. It would move the barracks from their current location on the northeast corner of the Exit 12 Interstate 89 interchange to the southwest corner. The facility would consist of two buildings where St. George Road descends into Williston. A new turning lane and access road to the facility are planned. 

In addition to the state police barracks, the main building will also house a 911 call center, the Northern Vermont Drug Task Force, the Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement division and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. A separate storage garage will house the units’ vehicles.

The facility will be open around the clock and will need constant security lighting, Cpt. Michael Manley wrote in a letter to the town’s planning and zoning department.

“Community members need to feel safe arriving to the facility after hours,” he wrote. “Dispatchers will come and go throughout all hours of the night for shifts. The same applies for the troopers…. [T]he facility will operate 24/7 and sustained outdoor lighting is needed for the safety of the troopers, dispatchers and public.”

Project manager Zoltan Horvath noted in a September letter to the town that state statute limits the town’s regulatory authority over the project and exempts the state from town permitting fees.

If approved, the state plans to begin clearing the site of trees by the end of the year and break ground on the buildings in the spring. Completion is anticipated in the fall of 2023.

— Jason Starr

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