by Todd Wellington
The revitalization of the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District warehouse on Church Street in Lyndonville has been delayed due to a more complicated than expected set of federal requirements attached to project funding.
The cost of the project, which includes a new roof and other structural work on the building, is being made possible by a federal reimbursement program via the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act - dubbed ISTEA.
The district applied for and was granted the ISTEA money earlier this year because the warehouse is an old rail station. Once restored to federal standards, the structure will be eligible to be placed on a federal list of historic buildings.
Phase one of the project, the new root was supposed to begin this summer. But now, say waste management district officials, work won't be starting until next year. "We will not even go out for bid until March of next year, said Joel Cope of Brighton, who chaired the meeting of district supervisors Thesday in place of Chairman David Dill.
Standing in the way is a mountain of federal paperwork as well as a variety of procedural requirements that must be complied with. "It's quite a process, I'm not looking forward to it," said Cope.
ISTEA rules also require that the district hire an architect to design the entire project and a project manager to be named before any of the federal money can be touched. That requirement poses a problem for the already cash-strapped district which had been planning to do the project in phases, a little at a time.
That idea has now been scrapped. "We can't do this in phases," said Cope. "This is federal money; there are a lot of strings attached."