Litchfield News

Committee appointed to create plan for new town hall (03-15-12)

A new committee is in place to develop a plan for a new town hall in Litchfield.

The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday appointed an 11-person committee and charged it with creating a plan by Oct. 1. Once the plan is finalized, it will be presented to the selectmen, who would decide if its worthy of being brought to a referendum.

Picked to serve on the committee were Selectman Jeffrey Zullo, director of public works Jack Healy, first selectman administrative assistant Ann Curtis, Town Clerk Lisa Losee, Town Treasurer David T. Wilson and residents William Buckley, John Langer, William Deacon, Lynn Brickley, Peter Ebersol and Diane Fredsall.

All 11 volunteered to serve. A 12th volunteer, Tax Collector Nancy Southard, was left off the committee for two reasons: to preserve the Democratic Party's minority representation and because selectmen felt another town hall worker wasn't needed on the panel.

Of the 11 members, eight are Republicans and three are Democrats. There are nine regular members and two alternates: Deacon and Losee.

Zullo, Healy, Curtis and Buckley are holdovers from a committee that created a $5.8 million plan to renovate and expand Town Hall. That plan was completed in 2008, shortly before the economy crashed. Selectmen responded by putting the plan on the back burner.

The new committee will work with the architect who created the 2008 plan, John Martin of Litchfield. Its work will be funded by $19,000 left over from the 2008 effort and a similar study done 10 years age.

Martin agreed with First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. that building a new town hall would be the most cost-effective solution. Paul, citing favorable interest rates on money the town would borrow for a construction project, believes a new building can be built for less than $5 million.

A new town hall would be built to hold all town offices, including those located in the Town Hall Annex in Bantam.