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New WPCA Operations Center

Proposal for establishing an Operations Center consisting of a 3,000 sq. foot Commercial Condominiumin a new industrial condo building at 53 Commerce Drive slated to be occupied December 2017

See full justification document: WPCA_53_Commerce_Q&A.pdf

This is one of 7 units at this address, now under construction. It is a road-side end unit allowing construction for a useful office and meeting space. The anticipated building cost with the fit up is $480,000 that will include roughly 1,000 sq. feet of mezzanine space for storage of records.

What is the justification for going from 283 sq. feet to 3,000 square feet? What is the purpose of proposing such a large facility?

Since the construction of the Town Hall the WPCA has occupied a modest office of 283 sq. feet on the first floor in the West end of the Town Hall. That served the operation well until the construction of the Three Condo line in 2009 followed by projects at
• Del Mar Drive/Old New Milford Road
• Sandy Lane
• High Meadow/Newbury Crossing/Ledgewood
• Rollingwood
• Brooks Quarry
• Barnbeck
• Oak Meadows
• Riverview
• Upgrades to two pump stations to allow for expansion at the Town Center
• And we can anticipate accounts at several significant Town Center properties.

Consequently, the miles of piping and number of pump stations has doubled and the number of customers tripled since 2008. The WPCA is no longer as back-of-the-envelope operation. It is a 1.7-million-dollar enterprise with roughly $20 million of assets on the books with a replacement cost approaching $100 million to steward.

The operation has become large, complex and sophisticated and is now beyond the ability of a volunteer board to fully manage. There are now increasing demands from the CT DEEP to monitor operations, including pump stations and grease traps. The WPCA determined that a part-time director is required to oversee day-to-day planning and operations. The existing office has no room to house that new staff member.

In 2014, the WPCA office was reconfigured with tall cabinets to make use of vertical space. But even with that office modification, the staff still has piles of active files on the floor. The space under the desks is filled. There is grossly insufficient table workspace.

Further, customers come to pay in the office walking into active working space. There is no pay counter, which is a bit unprofessional.

The field staff does not have proper office space. This will allow the entire staff to co-locate, a plus for any business.

The new plan includes a reception/pay counter area, a conference room, a garage space for small parts storage and repair, handicap bathrooms and six office spaces. One office for each of the two administrative staff persons (#1&2), one for the part-time director (#3), one for the maintenance manager (#4) and one for two field staff (#5). There is a sixth office for visitors, such as the Chairman or other board member and expansion.

The presence of the garage area will allow a central area for vehicle and equipment maintenance and, perhaps more importantly, will permit the vehicles to be centrally parked by staff members when not in use. The WPCA has eliminated the practice of staff members taking the vehicles home when not officially on duty.

See the full document to presented in July 2017 to the Planning Commission and the Board of Selectmen: WPCA_53_Commerce_Q&A.pdf

The Board of Selectman has set a Town Meeting for Monday night September 11, 2017 for final approval of the proposal.