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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 24, 2011

Town board mulls two options for highway garage upgrade

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — Among the hulking plow trucks crowded into the highway garage, the town board met to discuss the options for expanding its space.

It voted 4 to 0 at its Tuesday meeting, with councilwoman Deborah Baron absent for the vote, to spend not more than $7,000 to have the necessary survey work done around the existing highway garage.  For about 10 years, the town has been considering updating and expanding its 5,000-square-foot garage that was built in the late 1960s on Route 85, just up the hill from the hamlet of New Salem.

It had also considered constructing a new facility on land it owns on Upper Flat Rock Road, an option favored by Baron.

“I think we’re down to two options,” Supervisor Thomas Dolin said yesterday: either add a roughly 6,600-square-foot two-story addition to the existing building, or build a roughly 10,000-square-foot one-story structure that is separate from the existing building but on the same plot of land.

Robert Mitchell, an architect who lives in the town and has been working on preliminary plans for the site, estimated that the town could save about half-a-million dollars by using the current building and the surrounding land, since it already has much of the necessary infrastructure in place.

Darrell Duncan, the town’s highway superintendent, said at Tuesday’s meeting that he preferred the current location, which is convenient for snowplowing routes.

Mitchell and the town’s engineer, R. Mark Dempf, were hesitant at the meeting to quote prices for each of the options to be considered by the town.  When the survey is complete, Mitchell said, he’ll be able to design floor plans and get estimates on costs for the town.

In 2002, the town’s engineer proposed a 6,600-square-foot addition to the existing building, which would have office space on the top floor and two bays to house machinery on the bottom floor, for $550,500, Dolin said yesterday.  He was unsure of what the cost would be currently.

While the board discussed the size and potential cost of the options on Tuesday, Councilman Richard Reilly said, if possible, he’d like to add excess capacity for future growth.

Dempf provided the board with a packet of information about the garage and the town’s equipment, including a chart of potential future development in the town.  It lists 17 sites, with varying degrees of potential for development, including the Kensington Woods residential development, which could have 169 houses by 2020; Stone Creek Estates, which could have 30 houses by 2015; and the commercial zone around the intersection of routes 85 and 85A, including the former Bender melon farm, which could have retail development.

“Let’s be able to tell the people by September that we have a plan,” Dolin said at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.

For further coverage, go to www.AltamontEnterprise.com and look under archive for Feb. 24, 2011 in New Scotland.

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