New state police barracks, park and ride proposed for Williston

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WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) The state is looking to break ground next spring on a new state police barracks and park and ride in Williston, but it's still in the permitting process.

Vermont State Police Captain Garry Scott says their current building near Taft Corners has structural issues, is prone to flooding and just isn't big enough for all of the troopers based here.

"This is also one of our 911 call centers as well. So, it is a larger barracks, it has more assets that are required to be here and because of proximity to Burlington and Chittenden County," said Captain Scott.

Scott says the location of the current barracks on busy Route 2A presents another challenge. "Getting in and out of here can be very difficult. Add the holidays, traffic backs up. We're hoping having it where it is and the entrance and exit at a different location, higher up the hill on Route 2A will alleviate some of that," he said.

The new barracks would be built just up the road and will share the space with a new Park and Ride lot. The state says it will have about 140 spaces. Town officials say there is strong demand for commuters looking to carpool.

But some neighbors of the site, like Larry Reed, are adamantly against these plans. He says it will increase traffic near his house, create hazards on the steep portion of Route 2A in the winter and negatively impact property values.

"We go to the meetings, we talk, you take letters, but in the end it's up to the DRB as to what's going to be happening here. All we can do is voice our feelings, but in the end, who's going to win?" Reed said.

The lot and barracks are both still in the permitting process. The state hopes to break ground next spring, with state police moving to their new facility by the end of 2021.

The next meeting of the Williston Development Review Board is scheduled for November 12th.

The Park and Ride is federally funded and estimated to cost between $2.5 - $5 million dollars.

The legislature has already signed off on the $21 million dollar project to replace all state police barracks.