July 2, 2022

Essex Selectmen Back Town Hall Window Replacement

ESSEX— The board of selectmen has approved a plan to install new energy-efficient windows on the north side of town hall. The board acted last week after receiving an update from Frank Hall, a member of the local energy advisory committee.

Hall said the town has $27,832 remaining from a $44,000 state grant awarded previously for energy efficiency improvements at the town hall. Hall said the lowest bid submitted for the window replacement was $30,099.

Hall said reducing the number of windows designated for replacement from 14 to 13 could reduce the cost of the project to the amount of the available grant funds. The selectmen agreed to seek input from the board of finance on how to complete the window replacement using only the grant funds, or whether to consider spending town funds to cover the small difference between the grant amount and the bid price.

Selectmen also discussed the option of converting the former judge of probate office in to an improved emergency operations center for the town. The office with a separate entrance on the west side of town hall has been vacant since the opening of the new regional probate court in Old Saybrook last January.

William Buckridge, the town’s emergency management coordinator, said the town has applied for a $50,342 grant that would cover the most of the expense of converting the office after a $12,585 town match. The board agreed to await word on the grant award before discussing the next step for the office conversion.