Rochester working to reopen Town Hall

Jun 1, 2020

ROCHESTER — The town is allowed to open its Town Hall, but plans to take more time to do it safely. 

Per the coronavirus guidance from the state, municipal buildings are allowed to reopen, at 25% of their full occupancy. In Rochester the limit is also a bit of an issue because in Town Hall, employees alone account for a quarter of the building’s total occupancy.  

Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar said the town will work on reconfiguring its common areas to avoid “flow issues,” where a resident may unintentionally block off multiple rooms along a hallway. 

“These buildings are small and they are old, and there's not enough room to move around,” Szyndlar said. 

For now, officials have been meeting with residents by appointment only in the Town Hall conference room, a system which Szyndlar said works. 

She will also work on how to reopen the Town Hall Annex, Council on Aging building and Library to keep both residents and employees safe. 

However, the most important part for now is that everyone is getting the services they asked for, Szyndlar said. 

“And no one has gotten sick!” Selectman Paul Ciaburri chimed in. 

Fellow Selectman Woody Hartley spoke highly of a safety meeting he attended last week, saying that members were able to have a good discussion and make tweaks to improve safety, but no major issues came up. 

“It makes you feel good about town,” Hartley said.