Northborough Select Board hears about work on Old Town Hall


Northborough Select Board hears about work on Old Town Hall
Northborough’s Old Town Hall stands at 4 West Main Street. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

NORTHBOROUGH – As the town is officially the owners of the Old Town Hall at 4 West Main St., a condition assessment was recently conducted on the building along with six other town facilities.

During the Select Board’s Dec. 18 meeting, the board learned about what work has been done on the Old Town Hall and what may be on the horizon.

According to Department of Public Works Director Scott Charpentier, the building had several unknown expenses before the town acquired it. The property was sold in 1983 with the option for the town to repurchase it after 40 years. Town Meeting voters appropriated funds to acquire it in 2022.

There are floors in 4 West Main that have been vacant for several years.

“That certainly doesn’t lend itself well to consistent use and maintenance of those floors,” Charpentier said.

According to a memorandum from Facilities Manager Shawn Thompson to Town Administrator Tim McInerney dated Dec. 13, the town has spent $66,377 so far on the property and is estimated to spend an additional $24,170 before the end of the fiscal year. The largest line item is $41,800 for insurance. Other expenses include a locksmith to rekey the building, fire alarm conversion, an evaluation of the HVAC systems and minor repairs, inspection and repairs of fire extinguishers and repairing a boiler on the fifth floor.

The amount also covers an annual elevator inspection, sprinklers and fire alarms along with utilities, costs to repair the elevator and miscellaneous expenses.

The expenses so far have been paid through the facilities operating budget.

The elevator failed inspection in November. According to Thompson, the town is considering repairs to get the elevator up and running, which may cost between $4,000 to $5,000. He said the Building Department said the repair wasn’t necessary at the moment as the sole occupant is on the first floor and doesn’t have access to the rest of the building.

“Other than that, the building is in a lot better shape than I expected for a building that’s been vacant for that long,” Thompson said.

Charpentier said one of the main reasons for the early expenditures was to keep the upper spaces conditioned.

“While the building is still in relatively good shape, it’s important to keep it in good shape,” he said.

One of the motivation to keep the building conditioned and elevator fixed was to allow other people – such as architects – go upstairs. Without an adequate and safe means of egress with an elevator, they are not allowed in the upper floors, Charpentier said.

The town is expecting to spend approximately $85,000 on 4 West Main in fiscal 2025. Charpentier said there could be potential revenue streams associated with the site, but those figures weren’t currently known. The tenant on the first floor’s lease was under negotiation, and there are cellular communication devices on the roof. The leases haven’t been “ironed out” with the cellular providers, he said.

The Select Board will discuss how to fund 4 West Main Street in the future.

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