Trustees approve funds for fire and police

On Tuesday, June 14, the Bellows Falls Village Trustees discussed capital improvement projects on the public safety building. Photo provided

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, June 14, the Bellows Falls Village Trustees discussed the recreation center summer schedule and capital improvement projects on the public safety building.

Municipal Manager Scott Pickup said the pool is opening on June 22 and summer day camps run from June 27 through Aug. 19. Find more information at Rockingham Recreation on Facebook and

At the the village annual meeting in 2021, an article for $40,000 was approved by voters for repairs to the public safety building that house the Bellows Falls Fire and Police Departments. At Tuesday’s meeting, they requested $50,000 from the FY22 budget surplus for capital improvement projects.

Pickup explained the projects that had been invested in and completed over the last five years which included: drainage work, replacement of a generator, and mold remediation in the evidence room. They replaced the roof top unit that was hit by lightning. The chimney was repaired costing $30,000 and recently a new parking lot was finished on the south side of the building. Pickup said that upgrades to the elevator had started and they had installed a new front door with plans to paint and pave the front entrance scheduled for this summer.

He said future projects included replacing carpeting and painting. He mentioned that they were looking at heartier flooring options due to the facility having 24/7 use.

PIckup said they had developed the basic concept for the Sally Port design to prepare for budget conversations in the fall. He explained that there was more drainage work needed with installation of gutters and ice dams to help with the heavy rain storms where the water pours off the steel roof into the foundation.

PIckup said the front apron paving project will be done this summer and scheduled in August when the town is paving to save on mobilization costs.

James McAuliffe asked if the estimate for the planned work was $50,000. Pickup said the combination of ice dams, gutters, and front paving should be that amount.

Jeff Dunbar asked if the dams were for snow restraint, and Pickup said yes. McAuliffe asked if the gutters would be on the police side. Pickup said there were sections they were needed on both the front and backside of the building.

McAuliffe noted they were going into next year’s budget and asked Finance Director Alyssa Harlow, “What the forecast [was] for year-end.”

Harlow said there was “a good amount of money left over.” McAuliffe referred to the general fund which showed that revenues were ahead of schedule. Harlow said the fund balance sheet showed $184,000 in the current year’s budget.

McAuliffe asked, “Can we reserve it out of this year’s funds?” Pickup and Harlow agreed that that is what they were asking from the trustees.

Pickup explained, “We’re not asking for additional expenditures, we’re asking for authorization for an expenditure on a line we had not budgeted for…”

Village President Deborah Wright suggested using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for these projects.

McAuliffe said it would be more appropriate to deal with those separately. Pickup suggested if they were overbudget, but that the current fund balance was higher than policy recommendations of 20%.

Harlow said, “If the whole $50,000 does not get used, it will stay in that capital project fund.”

The trustees approved the request, 4-0, Wright abstaining. Harlow said the current capital fund had $2,500 in it.

The Bellows Falls Trustees next meeting is on July 19 at 6 p.m. in the Lower Theatre of the Bellows Falls.

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