DPW Hoping for New Facility

Mansfield Town Hall. Patch File Photo.
Mansfield Town Hall. Patch File Photo.

The Department of Public Works is hoping to get a new facility to replace the 70-year-old building on Route 106 where they currently work. 

Project Engineer Jeff Albertini of Weston and Sampson presented plans to the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night for a new 38,000-square-foot, $13.6 million building. 

"We need to do something," said Board of Selectmen Chair Jess Aptowitz. "There’s no heat half the time. We have human beings working down there and it's awful."

Some of the other problems with the existing facility include undersized maintenance bays and a lack of storage for equipment, which ends up getting left outside. Town-owned property off of Fruit Street is being considered as a new location.  

"We wouldn’t see an increase in taxes to finance this building," said Town Manager Bill Ross, explaining that a large portion of school renovation bond issues will come off the tax roll in the spring and that voters could authorize a new debt exclusion to pay the facility at Town Meeting.

BH December 05, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Of course we need a $13.6 million dollar facility. I've been in the construction field for years and I've seen multiple plans for walmarts that have been built for $12-15 million dollars. Seems reasonable that a dpw facility should cost the same or more than a massive Walmart with a massive parking lot and potable water tank. Ridiculous Mansfield!!!
BH December 05, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Do some homework Jess, don't put a clubhouse of this magnitude on the taxpayers. Why can't we just build a reasonable and functional facility? I cannot fathom a $13.6 million dollar facility.
HJ December 05, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Because it's our money they'd be spending and can use more of even our money for "bells & whistles" and "cost overruns"....
BH December 05, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Guaranteed this "facility" would have kitchens, lounges, cable, state of the art amenities, steam shower. It's a dpw, not a fire station. I can't wait until meetings for this faculty are announced, we can't let this one slip by the taxpayer.
Tina Mqs December 05, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Perhaps the cost can be lowered. but protection for the vehicles (investment we've already made) is important. And yes, we have humans working in there- i'm sure the animal shelter is better suited for humans. these folks work out in the worst conditions- why can't we give them a working space that has elbow room and a relief from the cold while they maintain the vehicles? this is long overdue, and they have been put off time after time- not without reason of course, but it's time. It's easy to fling around criticism, but put yourself in their shoes. these people do a darned good job. Have you ever left your yard equipment out all year long? I've had to, and it's a b***h to get it started when you need it, and it does shorten the life of the equipment. These people aren't sitting in offices all day- they are out in any weather and deserve the respite of a dry and warm place to do their work. anyone else would have been up in arms by now over the conditions, and from what i understand, they have their complaints, but have been patient.
BH December 05, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Sorry Tina but that's the job. It's not an office job and they knew that when they took it. They will have to be out in ice and snow and rain and if they don't like it, there are 100 other people who would love to have that job. A heated garage and facility can be built for WAAAAAAAAY less than $13.6 million. Did you read my first comment? Walmarts cost the same or less and they are massive and stretch over 10,20,30 acres. No excuse at all for this price tag, exorbitant and irresponsible. I'm looking at you town selectmen.
HJ December 05, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Mqs, BH is right. A ton of people would like one of those plum jobs. And how many bad truly days are there dealing with the conditions outside in a 5 day workweek? Maybe 40-50? That's not a lot considering there's 250 workdays in a year and again, they know working in the cold is part of the terms of employment.
Tina Mqs December 06, 2013 at 08:51 AM
I think the cost could and should be less. But i still feel that most of that equipment should be inside, and i feel like the employees should be able to do repair work out of the cold. sure they know their job is outdoors in all weather. but you don't see people making car repairs out in the parking lot of a repair garage, they're inside, with a heat source. Now, perhaps a shed sort of deal could be build for the equipment, not necessarily heated but at least out of the elements. but for the repair side, why not offer some relief? I want to go find the proposed floor plans to look at again anyways, i'm sure they're online somewhere. seeing them on tv doesn't really give me the time to compare the plans.
BH December 06, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Tina, nobody is arguing that there should be a garage. That is kinda the main point on a dpw facility. We are arguing the outrageous proposed cost. They could build a very large heated facility for half the cost of the initial proposal.
Tina Mqs December 06, 2013 at 11:59 AM
well, i'm not up on what something like this should cost, and yes, it is expensive. i just wouldn't know what *would* be an appropriate price. I'm still looking for the layouts they showed at the mtg in between work here but i'm not having any luck. anyone see them online?
BH December 06, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Does the fact that a Walmart can be built for this price help? Including landscaping, sitework, paving, underground electrical, fire suppression, waste water and potable water tanks and pumping. I mean come on, look at what a 3000 square foot house costs, $500-$850k. $13.6 million????
Tina Mqs December 07, 2013 at 10:10 AM
no, because a walmart is crap thrown-up same thing everywhere you go. walmart and DPW have different needs. cost depends a lot on what goes in it. i'd really rather see the plans for the DPW before i say much more- there's no point. Further, there's plenty of people who don't watch the meetings and wouldn't have seen the presentation, and the plans aren't in the newspaper from where I can find, but i *know* i've seen them on "paper" somewhere- or maybe i'm just remembering them from the BoS mtg. But all of that stuff should be ironed out and made aware to thepublic WELL IN ADVANCE of the TM so we don't have to listen to boatloads of explanations. people need to come to TM prepared.
BH December 07, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Tina I assure you Walmarts are not "crap" thrown up. You may not like the company, but their buildings are to the same quality and code of any other quality building (Kohls, Target, Stop and Shop) They are extremely well built and designed, and the fact is there is no blueprint for Walmart, each store is planned and engineered completely separately and on it's own. I can also tell you that I've been in construction management for about 10 years, the dpw does not have an elaborate list of needs. There needs to be a functioning garage and some offices. Walmarts are WAAAAY more involved than this facility would be. All this town does is overpay it's employees and overspend its money. I don't get why you are so quick to defend a ridiculous $13.6 cost for a building that is basically an oversized auto garage.


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