Growing Pains In St. Albans Town
Unlike many Vermont municipalities, St. Albans Town has a population that is growing. And according to a municipal facilities assessment the town commissioned last year, the community will continue to grow in the foreseeable future:
St. Albans Town has a population of 5,999 (Census 2010). This represented a 12.6% increase from the previous 10 years. The MISER population projections estimate the Town of St. Albans to have a population of 6,315 by 2020 Using a linear method, population in St. Albans Town was projected to grow to 7,309 in 2030 and to 9,389 by 2060.
As a result of this growth, the town hall is running out of space in its vault and the town garage is at capacity. In addition, the town hall is not fully accessible and does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facilities study, conducted by Scott + Partners Architecture, focused on the town hall, the town garage and the fire station. It recommended the select board implement the following:
- Renovate the Town Hall to remain in service for foreseeable future: Increase vault size. Reclaim the basement level. Provide elevator access to all levels. Remove fire escape and add new inside stair. Address septic system. Make arrangements for typical event parking. Hold special events off-site.
- Relocate the Town Garage away from the waterfront and to more suitable and central location. Main consideration should be the Town owned Brigham Road property. It is large enough to site all Town Garage functions with additional land for other potential future Town facility needs.
- Minor system upgraded to the current fire station. Monitor the pace and location of Town growth. Begin looking at potential sites for locating a second satellite fire station.
With those recommendations in mind, the town is now considering either renovating or relocating both the town hall and the town garage. Beginning in August, the select board plans to hold public meetings and issue a survey to solicit public feedback on how to proceed with both projects.