The Town of Barre is a small rural community located 61 miles from Boston, almost exactly in the center of the State, and covers 44.8 square miles. It has a population of 5,365 is bordered by Phillipston on the north, Hubbardston on the northeast, Rutland and Oakham on the southeast, New Braintree on the south, Hardwick on the southwest, and Petersham on the northwest. Barre is 22 miles northwest of Worcester has a latitude of 42.422N, a longitude of 72.105W and and elevation of 784 feet above sea level. The form of government is Board of Selectmen and open town meeting.
The community was named after Isaac Barré, a member of the British Parliament who opposed the taxation of America.
The town of Barre did not start out as the "Town of Barre". From the beginning of the earliest kept records Barre was part of Rutland. The town was part of the Naquag grant and was made the "Northwest District of Rutland in 1749. In 1774 the town incorporated and was called "Hutchinson". Two years later a petition for a different name resulted in it being called "Barre", with a population of 734. During the Industrial Revolution, it became known for its production of farming equipment and palm leaf hats. During the Civil War it supplied much of the gunpowder used by the Union Army.
In August of 2014 the Town was notified that Senator Brewer, prior to his retirement, was able to secure a $3,000,000 earmark under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to construct a new public safety building. The Board of Selectmen created a Public Safety Building Committee and adopted a charge for the Committee to act as an advisory committee to the Selectmen to select an Owner’s Project Manager (as required by MGL Chapter 149 Section 44 on projects costing over $1.5 Million), to select a Design firm, space needs for each public safety department and the final scope of work for the construction of the building. A Request for Qualifications was put out in October of 2014 and the Town selected Vertex Companies, Inc. as their OPM in December of 2014. The Town put out a Request for Proposals for Architectural and Engineering Services at the end of December 2014 and selected Jacunski Humes, Inc in March of 2015. From that date on, the Public Safety Building Committee, Board of Selectmen, and Town Administrator have been working diligently with Jacunski Humes to come up with a design that fit the space needs of the Police, Fire and EMS departments within the allotted budget. After the initial space needs assessment, it was determined that inclusion of the Fire Department would significantly exceed the $3,000,000 budget, therefore the final design includes the Police and EMS departments. Jacunski Humes put together two proposals for the future construction of a Fire Station that will be adjacent to the Public Safety Building, when the Town is able to fund the construction of a new Fire Station.
It is also noteworthy that the Town worked with Stetson Home, a non-profit organization that does not have to pay taxes, to donate 4 acres of land on South Street to build the Public Safety Building in lieu of the services they receive from the Town.
The project is currently out to bid and General Contractor bids are due and construction is expected to begin in May 2016. Below are the schematic design of the building and the layout of the building on the South Street parcel.
The Town of Barre is proud to announce that our Town Common will be featured as the logo on the Berkshires to Boston jersey that more than one hundred riders wear on a four day, 240 mile bike tour that crosses Massachusetts from the New York border to downtown Boston. Barre has been a destination stop along the tour since 2013. The organizer of the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour, Gary Briere of River’s Edge Cycling LLC, had the following to say about the Town of Barre and using the Barre Common on the 2016 jersey:
"We're excited to introduce our new jersey for this year. It features one of our rider's favorite stops along the tour, the beautiful common in Barre, MA. The town of Barre goes out of their way to welcome our riders. They open up the restrooms at the town hall, welcome us in for lunch in the many restaurants along Main St. and generally demonstrate the warm hospitality that is so evident in all our little communities along the way. This year's jersey features Barre's flag-flying town hall and Main St. on the edge of the common. A few bikes lean against the white fence and, of course, our ever-present mascot, Sprocket is there to welcome riders. Like the Hancock Shaker Village and Zakim Bridge jerseys, the Barre Common is sure to be a popular addition to our rider's wardrobe."
Below is the final product of how the Barre Common on the jersey.
March 9, 2016
Notice to Barre Water Department Customers:
The Town of Barre Water Department has recently been contacted, by some consumers, regarding the quality of their water. Our Department is committed to providing you with accurate information, therefore we felt it best to reach out to our customers at this time.
First and foremost, your drinking water is safe. The Water Department conducts routine sampling and testing and the results are provided and submitted to MassDEP by an independent laboratory. Small amounts of mineral, primarily iron, have been found in the water system supplied by Well #1- However, lab results are well below the Massachusetts Drinking Water Standards.
Although, our water tests have come back “clean,” we felt we should be proactive in making sure that we continue to provide quality drinking water. Therefore, we conducted a cleaning of Well # 1 and also scheduled a cleaning of all Water Storage Tanks- which will be conducted in the next month or so. Please note that each time a complaint was received, the Water Department investigated and/or flushed the area(s) in question. Most of the “discolored” water complaints we received, upon investigation by the Water Department, were actually due to the collection of sediment in customers Hot Water Tanks. In these cases, the discoloration was mainly present in the hot water. If you are encountering this problem, we suggest scheduling routine maintenance of your hot water tank.
Due to the short winter this year, Baltazar Construction will resume the Barre Common Reconstruction Project starting the end of the week of March 14th. This phase of the project, Phase III, will include Exchange Street, Broad Street, a portion of School Street North, Park Street and Grove Street. The areas of construction are indicated by diagonal lines on the map below: