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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 17, 2009

Knox Town Hall project underway – at last

By Zach Simeone

KNOX — Construction to expand and upgrade the Town Hall is underway, after years of planning. The town board approved payments for this month’s work at last week’s town board meeting.

This was Democratic Councilman Dennis Decker’s last meeting, at least for the next four years, as he lost his run for re-election in November to Republican Travis Stevens.

The 1977 town hall will have a $1.3-million makeover, scheduled to be completed in April of 2010.

At the meeting, the town board voted to authorize a total $168,441.13 in payments for the Town Hall project, divided up among the following contractors:

— M.A. Schafer Construction will be paid $91,712.77 for framing work, and $9,792 for roof work;

— Wainschaf Associates Inc. will be paid $19,607.36 for general work;

— Tri-Valley Plumbing and Heating Inc. will be paid $7,547.75 for plumbing work;

— Eckert Mechanical Service Corp. will be paid $12,350 for heating, ventilation, and cooling work; and

— Phoenix Electrical will be paid $27,431.25 for electrical work.

Tuesday’s meeting was held in an upstairs office, with construction taking place in the regular lower-level meeting room.

“The concrete floor downstairs is finished,” Supervisor Michael Hammond said this week. “The old meeting room is all going to be built into a fireproof and secure storage area and offices.”

The building has a new foundation as well, he went on.

“Site work has been done — putting in storm sewers, grading to finish elevations, framing is just about completed,” Hammond said. “Electrical work is ongoing, plumbing work is ongoing. The roofing material will probably be started next week, of course, everything’s subject to the weather right now.”

The project will include an entirely new roof, new siding, offices for building and zoning administrators, and a new meeting room, where each of the town’s governmental bodies will meet, with higher ceilings, and a built-in, semi-circular dais.

There will also be a records vault on the ground floor, and a hydraulically powered elevator that goes between the first and second floors to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The copy room will be moved, and the whole building will be air-conditioned. The supervisor’s office will remain as is.

The windows along the south wall will be enlarged to about double their current size, and there will be an emergency generator to power the building in the case of an outage.

Construction for the project began on Aug. 28, and is still expected to reach completion this spring, as was previously projected.

“We’re right on schedule,” Hammond said this week. “Very much so.”

Other business

In other business at this month’s meeting, the town board:

— Heard from Clerk Kimberly Swain that the town will be receiving less money in a records-retention grant from the state than was at first anticipated. While the town was initially expecting $10,100, it will instead be receiving $7,650, and that amount may decrease an additional 6 percent, Swain said.

The grant money will go towards taking inventory of all records stored at Town Hall, and performing a needs assessment — determining whether or not any of these records can be disposed of. Whatever records are kept will be stored in a categorized, interactive database;

— Heard from John Dorfman, the town’s attorney, that the current records-storage room at Town Hall should be tested for the presence of dusts and molds before hiring an outside firm to handle the records.

“The area of mold and dust, and the litigation that comes along with it, are very serious,” Dorfman told the town board. “There are potential hazards.”

The discussion was tabled until the January town board meeting;

— Heard from Highway Superintendent Gary Salisbury that the transfer station is not currently accepting electronic devices for disposal.

“We absolutely cannot take any more electronic devices until we’ve got a way to get rid of them,” said Salisbury;

— Scheduled its re-organizational meeting for Jan. 1 at 9 a.m.; and

— Voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a laptop computer for the tax collector’s office, for a price not to exceed $700.

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