Cost savings will be the name of the game for the 180 Market Street city hall/library/senior center. The new stormwater management system agreed upon by the city and school will likely cost more than the previous concept, but city officials say cutting costs in other areas should keep the project on track and close to its current form. 

“While we won’t know all the costs until we’re done with the project, I would expect them to be higher because the stormwater,” Project Director Ilona Blanchard told the city council at its Aug. 5 meeting. “We’re in a much more expensive option for stormwater infrastructure.”

New pricing for that system should be available in about a month, Blanchard said, adding she’d return to the council with options. However, she said, changing out sinks for lower-cost alternatives and other cost-saving measures could help keep the project price on track.

Asked how greatly costs would rise, Blanchard said she couldn’t put a number on it yet. Councilor Thomas Chittenden asked if the increase could top $2-$5 million, but Public Works Director Justin Rabidoux said it would not. 

As for the permitting process, the city is awaiting responses on several applications. Work on the 180 Market Street project could begin this fall if permits and approvals are completed expeditiously, Blanchard said. The city hopes to have the project completed by late winter or early spring

of 2021.

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