Proposal for establishing an Operations Center consisting of a 3,000 sq. foot Commercial Condominium a new industrial condo building at 53 Commerce Drive operational as of September 2018.
See full justification document: WPCA 53 Commerce Q&A.pdf
This is one of 7 units at this address, now under construction. It is a road-side end unit allowing construction for a useful office and meeting space. The anticipated building cost with the fit-up is $530,000 that will include roughly 500 sq. feet of mezzanine space for storage of records.
A Town Meeting was held Monday October 16, 2017. The outcome was an affirmative vote to allow the WPCA to obtain a loan for the purchase 53 Commerce Drive Building A Unit 1.
Further, the Town Attorney had previously determined that the WPCA is free to finance the building as an enterprise fund.
Download PowerPoint presentation.
The construction commenced Summer 2017 and is now completed. The space was readied September 2018 and is now the new WPCA Headquarters 2 minutes from the Town Hall.
What is the justification for going from 283 sq. feet to 2,000 square feet office space? What is the purpose of proposing such a large facility?
Since the construction of the Town Hall the WPCA has occupied a modest office of 283 sq. feet on the first floor in the West end of the Town Hall. That served the operation well until the construction of the Three Condo line in 2009 followed by projects at
• Del Mar Drive/Old New Milford Road
• Sandy Lane
• High Meadow/Newbury Crossing/Ledgewood
• Brooks Quarry
• Oak Meadows
• Upgrades to two pump stations to allow for expansion at the Town Center
• And we can anticipate accounts at several significant Town Center properties.
Consequently, the miles of piping and number of pump stations has doubled and the number of customers tripled since 2008. The WPCA is no longer as back-of-the-envelope operation. It is a 1.7-million-dollar enterprise with roughly $20 million of assets on the books with a replacement cost approaching $100 million to steward.
The operation has become large, complex and sophisticated and is now beyond the ability of a volunteer board to fully manage. There are now increasing demands from the CT DEEP to monitor operations, including pump stations and grease traps. The WPCA determined that a part-time director is required to oversee day-to-day planning and operations. The existing office has no room to house that new staff member.
Further, customers come to pay in the office walking into active working space. There was no pay counter, which is a bit unprofessional.
The field staff did not have proper office space. This now allows the entire staff to co-locate, a plus for any business.
The new plan includes a reception/pay counter area, a conference room, a garage space for small parts storage and repair, handicap bathrooms and six office spaces. One office for each of the two administrative staff persons, one for the part-time director, one for the maintenance manager and one shared for two field staff. There is other space for visitors, such as the Chairman or other board members and expansion.
The presence of the garage area will allow a central area for vehicle and equipment maintenance and, perhaps more importantly, will permit the vehicles to be centrally parked by staff members when not in use. The WPCA has eliminated the practice of staff members taking the vehicles home when not officially on duty.