DRACUT — The town is in line to receive $1.5 million from a capital bond bill signed recently by Gov. Deval Patrick.
The money will has been marked for improvements to Dracut Town Hall to bring the 110-year-old building in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“This provides a springboard for the board of selectmen to move forward in its effort to address the federal court order,” said state Rep. Colleen Garry.
“Cleary, the Town Hall is very high on the town’s priority list,” added Sen. Susan Tucker. “We work very hard to get the state to pay attention to Dracut’s needs.”
Town Manager Dennis Piendak said the measure is just an authorization of money and not an appropriation.
The town still has to come up with a plan on how to spend it. A meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2 to decide in which direction to go. The town has been under a federal court order since 2004 to bring Dracut’s municipal buildings into ADA compliance. In that time, the town has built a new library, a new police station and installed sidewalks in front of Town Hall, among other improvements. Those efforts enabled the town to gain an extension of the court order until 2011.
In December 2006, voters shot down a $9 million debt exclusion by 2,176 to 1,193, which would have allowed for the construction of a new town hall.
Selectmen Chairman Robert Cox said he is pleased with Garry and Tucker’s efforts, even though he concedes that it is not enough money to build a new town hall.
“It’s another piece of the puzzle and when we get together on Oct. 2, we will be able to kick around some ideas,” Cox said.