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Letter: Pricey plan in Epsom

The Epsom selectmen want to move the town offices to a new location: the basement of the old church that was moved about a quarter mile up Route 4.

With a 30-year history of working in the building trades, I thought I might look at the costs to shed some light on the validity of the proposed $1.07 million price tag! That seemed a ridiculous price to renovate an existing building, so I looked at the cost breakdown. The first thing that stuck out was the cost of the “Architect/Engineering/Contractor”: $133,286. Wow, way more than 10 percent of the whole cost breakdown! Are we trying to make somebody rich or get a better place for town business?

Our neighbors in Chichester have their town offices in the basement of a church. It seems to work for them. So even if we elect to use that old, inefficient, drafty church for this purpose, why do the plans show all this extra space outside the footprint of the original building? That will cost a bunch! The plans show a huge lobby that would put most doctors’ offices to shame!

I say shrink the humongous break area and lobby and move everything back so it fits under the original church. Honestly, do we need to have that much more town office space? Or a deck? An elevator? This monstrosity sounds more like the doings of the federal government. They’re spending more than we have and living beyond our means.



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