Posted January 4, 2019
Dredging and preparations for a new building at the Town Beach and capital projects for the school department led the way for improvements in town this past year.
The town’s voters rejected a plan for a new town hall at the site of the present Town Hall Annex.
The long-awaited dredging of the waters off of the Town Beach for renourishment was being completed by the end of this year. The construction of a new building to house bathrooms, showers, offices and storage was in the works for this coming year.
Along the way, the town was assisted by the state, which placed $728,184 for the dredging portion and $1 million for the building.
The dredging and building were the culmination of years of efforts by the Waterfront Revitalization Committee.
Along with the beach renourishment, which was the first in 20 years, the town also had a park between Bay Street and the beach. Another grant of $100,000 assisted with that work.
The town received another $100,000 from the state for the demolition of the Bluffs Building in May. That building had been abandoned since the Council on Aging moved to the former St. Michael’s Church.
Meanwhile, the new Council on Aging building is undergoing roof work as well as repairs to the back room, which had been damaged by snow and ice three years ago.
The School Department had the other major projects with the windows at the Brown School and the track at Case High School being completed over the summer.
The windows cost $1,468,488 with the state reimbursing the town for $754,824.
The high school track was also completed by early fall. There was $260,000 allocated for that project.
The issue of speeders on Main Street was addressed with a pair of speed bumps.
The Town Hall project had been with a committee that decided that the best of the locations being considered was on town-owned property at the Town Hall Annex.
The voters did not see that as the best site and generally felt the design was over-reaching. While there was a general consensus that the present Town Hall has flaws, the voters were willing to wait for a better plan.
The library plan awaits funding from the state. At last count, the Swansea proposal was 19th in line, up from its 24th standing at the start. As other communities accept or reject library projects, the Swansea plan moves up.
Recently, the town learned that a settlement was reached with the architect for the police headquarters regarding the heating ventilation and air-conditioning at that building. The insurance company, without admitting liability of its client, agreed to pay $175,000 to the town for repairs.