The Wellesley Department of Public Works has secured state approval for funding under Chapter 90 to construct a $900K, 6,720 square foot building for storing all the town’s salt, de-icing, and sand-salt mix material. The Chapter 90 program provides municipalities with state funds, derived from gas taxes, on a reimbursement basis.
The structure will be a high-arch gambrel building and will include two lean-tos, which are covered storage areas, on two sides that will allow the DPW to store a variety of equipment and materials under cover. The lean-tos are 1,800 and 1,200 square feet each.
This single building will replace the existing 3,360 square foot salt shed as well as the adjacent 900 square foot sand/salt building. A demolition permit has been secured for the old structure, located on the north side of Municipal Way (near Rte. 9 West) between the DPW Park/Highway Building and Woodlawn Avenue. The new structure will go in its place, shifting slightly to the north.
The high-arch gambrel building is a pre-engineered structure common for both municipal DPWs and state highway facilities. The towns of Weston, Natick, and Needham, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, have similar buildings for storage needs. The building pretty much looks the way it sounds: a large shed with a few unique components such as its height and its large door opening, both of which can support a tri-axle trailer at full extension, allowing the salt to be delivered inside, thereby ending the practice of dumping outside and then moving inside.
This method of dumping salt will be better for the environment, minimize material loss, and save labor. The roof has a translucent panel located at the pitch break to allow for some day-lighting inside to minimize lighting costs. The southern exposure location encouraged the Town to have the shed designed to accommodate solar panels, in case it determines that is something worth pursuing in the future.
The shed will also have a high-durability metal roof that will be green in color, following the color used for trim on parts of other existing buildings and the Municipal Light Plant roof. The Department hopes that the green of the roof will help the structure blend with some of the existing tree buffers.
The project budget of $900,000, funded entirely from Chapter 90 funds, is based on DPW forces doing the on-site drainage, site work and landscaping. Wellesley typically gets about $830,000 per year in Chapter 90 funds, which are used for a variety of municipal projects. Because the project did not require supplemental funding, Town Meeting did not vote on it as a standalone project. The project has been part of the Town’s Financial plan for some time and was originally proposed for construction in 2012. The project was approved by the State in March.
Many thanks to David J. Hickey, Jr., Town Engineer, for his thorough reckoning of what goes into a project of this scale.
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