March 18, 2019

Bank of America Leaving Space at Chester Town Hall, Selectmen set April 17 Public Information Meeting

CHESTER— Bank of America is ending its lease of space at the Chester Town Hall on Route 154, with an April 17 information meeting set to discuss possible town uses for the ground floor space.

First Selectman Edmund Meehan announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of selectmen the bank will close the branch and vacate the space by June 22. The Bank of America branch has been in operation for more than a decade, but the town became the landlord in 2003 when the it purchased the building and converted the other sections on the first and second floor in to the town hall.

Meehan said there will be 3,200 square-feet of space available on the first floor of the building. The bank has been paying the town $75,000 per year for the space, which includes a drive-through. Meehan said the town has potential uses for the newly available space, either for the library, a community center, or some combination of the two options.

The town’s community center building, located further south on Route 154,  was demolished last year after the building collapsed in February 2011 due to the weight of accumulated snow on the roof. The Chester Library is currently considering options for a renovation and expansion of the historic 1908 library building on West Main Street, also known as Route 148. Library directors are awaiting a feasibilty study of expansion options that is expected by the end of June.

Meehan said a public information session would allow the selectmen to receive input from residents on possible town uses for the space.  “We need to hear more from the community on this,” he said

Meehan said he is also proposing a $25,000 appropriation in the 2012-2013 town budget for an architectural/engineering design study of possible town uses for the space. The April 17 public information meeting convenes at 7 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty Street.

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