Hudson Public Works director pitches new facility to Select Board


Hudson Public Works director pitches new facility to Select Board
A rendering of the proposed DPW facility was shared to the Select Board. (Photo/Town of Hudson)

By Sarah Freedman, Contributing Writer

HUDSON – A new and improved Department of Public Works garage could be coming to Hudson, a proposal which would replace the current facility that is more than five decades old and provide a much needed expansion for the maintenance of DPW vehicles.

The proposal of a new DPW garage and fleet facilities building for the town of Hudson was on the table at the Select Board’s Feb. 6 meeting and presented by DPW Director Eric Ryder.

Last year, a feasibility study was approved for the garage, which would replace the current facility that was built in 1967. Ryder shared several photos of the current facility’s condition, which has mold in a portion of the building and inoperable showers.

“I think these pictures speak for themselves,” said Ryder.

In addition, he said there was not a “proper break room” for employees, which is currently the entrance for the building and not very private. On the exterior of the building, there is significant spalling and surface cracking due to water damage during the winter.

The fleet maintenance garage also shows cracking on the north side of the building and cement separation.

What is proposed

Ryder said the proposed facility allows for growth and change in the building, specifically in the office space and equipment storage.

“The garage layout itself – that main corridor – there’s growth for future equipment that if we need to get in and out for storage,” said Ryder.

The new facility being proposed would have the benefit of being sized for proper vehicle storage. According to Ryder, the current facility is tight for DPW vehicles, and it would eliminate the need to store vehicles outside.

Within the main garage, he said would be space for park, cemetery and forestry storage as well as for the new facilities department that is being built “over the coming years.”

One new feature would be a portable lift to work on the larger DPW vehicles in the garage and a standard lift to work on smaller vehicles, like cruisers, Ryder added. As for the staff, the mezzanine will include locker rooms for men and women, a laundry room and extra office cubicles to have a “much more streamlined operation.”

As part of the plans, the salt shed would be moved to the Transfer Station area, where the station will be reskinned and used for salt storage.

“So we’re looking to repurpose that,” Ryder said.

According to his presentation, the grand total of the project would be $17,315,619 with $1,731,562 for overhead, $761,887 in terms of profit and $228,566 in bond costs. This would result in a total of $20,037,634. However, when the soft costs of design, geotechnical and survey fees, IT equipment and furniture and general equipment are included, the project cost is $23,381,850.

He said the number was “something that we’ve worked hard on with my consultants and engineers.”

“As you see in this construction totals, we’re carrying a five percent contingency,” Ryder said. “And, as you go down, we have architect and engineering design fees (at) roughly seven percent.”

Select Board member Judy Congdon asked what the soft costs would be without the office space included.

It would be roughly $3 million, said Ryder. He believed it made the “most sense at the time to build it out” because of space needs for the police department and IT needs.

He also noted after talking to Police Chief Richard DiPersio, there would have been some significant costs in changing a project already in the planning phase.

“We’re trying to look forward of what we anticipate what DPW is changing to and making sure that would have that room in the future,” Ryder said.

Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory noted that funding would need a debt exclusion vote, which would be brought to Town Meeting on May 1. A ballot question on the May 8 Annual Town Election would follow.

According to Gregory, there would be a $274 annual impact on the average residential tax bill.

Gregory believed that number would decrease due to the debt service going down. He said the greatest impact will be in year one.