Wayland DPW Facility Approval Request

The following was submitted by the Board of Public Works:

One of the primary reasons a special town meeting is being held this November in Wayland is to seek approval from the Town to move forward with the construction of a new, much needed DPW facility.

This is essentially the same article that fell just short of the 2/3 majority vote needed last spring, but with one significant change resulting from additional studies that were authorized by the selectmen this May and conducted over the summer. That change is to the access road.

One of the 4 authorized studies conducted resulted in the discovery of historically sensitive areas that essentially preclude the roadway improvements that would be required to make the access road to Route 20 a feasible option. This leaves the River Road entrance as the only viable option despite best efforts to keep all but emergency traffic off of River Road, per prior agreement with the abutters.

Due to the removal of the Route 20 access road improvement requirement from the project, there will be cost savings realized, but these savings are incidental to the decision and not the driver for a switch to using River Road as the primary access road for the proposed DPW facility.

Although the roadway improvements are being removed from this article, the budget requested for this project has increased – why? When this article was proposed last year, the Town had bids in hand in a very favorable (for Wayland) construction environment, so there was great certainty with regard to the cost. The higher request this year accounts for both expected and potential increases in costs.

The PMBC and staff are tasked with ensuring that all aspects of the project are competitively bid with a focus on bringing the project in on time and under budget. Through their experience with the high school building project and use of the authorized independent cost estimate and other measures, the Town can expect positive results.

As a citizen and as a member of the Board of Public Works, I urge the Town to come together on November 20th at 7:30pm at the Wayland High School Field House to approve this article. It is the 2nd article on the agenda, so I expect it will be addressed fairly early in the proceedings.

In the meantime, you can view a detailed site plan and other project documents on the Wayland website (www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_BComm/PMBC/index).

Below are some further details regarding the project and process:

Authorized Consulting Engagements (executed summer/fall 2013)

  • wetlands protection (completed – order of conditions for the roadway improvements received)

  • methane mitigation (completed – roadway methane mitigation plan developed)

  • archeological and ceremonial landscape (completed – ceremonial landscape result identified culturally sensitive areas that essentially preclude improvements necessary to make Route 20 access a viable option)

  • independent cost estimate (pending – to be used to firm up the budget and validate bids)

History

In 2011, at the Annual Town Meeting, the Town authorized $175,000 for the planning, site selection and schematic design for a new DPW facility.  At the April 2012 Annual Town Meeting, voters approved and endorsed the plan to designate the town-owned parcel of land on River Road for the project appropriating $725,000 for construction documents and bidding. In May 2013, the Board of Selectman authorized $170,000 in funding for additional studies to remove any outstanding doubts about the project.

The River Road site is currently in use by the DPW with the salt shed located on this property and access supplied by the existing River Road entrance.

By the Numbers

  • 45,873 – square footage of originally designed DPW facility
  • 38,270 – square footage of proposed DPW facility post PMBC review and right-sizing (16.6% reduction)
  • $11.4m – last year’s requested budget for siting and construction of the DPW facility
  • $12.55m – soon to be adjusted draft DPW facility budget reported to Selectmen by the PMBC on 10/21 (pending report from the independent cost estimate study which will be used to finalize this number)
  • 29 – estimated peak DPW-related traffic (twice per day – 25 vehicles commute in at about 6:30am with 14 vehicles being deployed shortly after they arrive – the reverse in the afternoon at about 2:30pm)
  • $175,000 – 2011 Town authorized funds for planning, site selection and schematic designs
  • $725,000 – 2012 Town appropriated funds for River Road facility/site construction documents & bidding
  • $170,000 – 2013 Selectmen allocated funds to conduct further River Road site studies

Notes

The Planning Board voted unanimously this past February to waive a traffic study for the project given that peak traffic of 29 vehicles would occur twice per day – in the morning when the workforce is arriving and then being deployed and in the afternoon when they return and then go home.

There has been no detection of methane at the 4 monitoring wells on the DPW building site itself, only along the roadway to the site which under the new article is being removed as an access option. Despite no methane detected on the building site, the current building design includes vapor barriers and venting that is calculated to handle various types of vapors such as radon or methane should any be an issue.

The decisions made regarding the site and designs have been made in close collaboration with all relevant town boards and a variety of committees including, but not limited to, Conservation Commission, Finance Committee, Historical Commission, Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, Planning Board, Board of Public Works, Permanent Municipal Building Committee and Design Review Board.

The Permanent Municipal Building Committee, comprised of town resident volunteers selected specifically for their expertise in structural and civil engineering, municipal construction and project management, has played an integral role in the evaluation and feasibility of the siting and construction of the proposed public works facility. Certain PMBC members were also members of the very successful high school building committee.

The new DPW facility will be approximately 38,270 square feet, representing an approximate 16.6% reduction (about 7600sf less) in building size and functionality from the original construction plans.

Requesting a lower appropriation for the DPW facility construction would put the project at risk, as construction cannot begin if no bids fall within the amount appropriated. It is up to the PMBC, the DPW and the Town’s consultants to ensure that the process is competitive and yields the best possible value.

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