Essex County Board of Supervisors
Members of the DPW Committee exchanged ideas for needed work on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building in Westport during its May 20 meeting.
“The building looks very bad,” Chesterfield Supervisor and DPW Committee Chairman Gerald Morrow said. “It is peeling.”
“The biggest issue would be cleaning the old paint and then containing it,” DPW Director Anthony LaVigne said. “Because of the age of the building, there will probably be some properties in the old paint that would need to be contained.”
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava asked if there had been any contact with CCE about the situation.
“Cooperative Extension owns buildings and takes care of buildings in other counties, and I am sure that they can find enough money to take care of it,” Scozzafava said. “We do not charge them a whole lot for rent.”
“We own the building, and they do a lot of work for this county,” Morrow responded.
“Nothing is as simple as it seems on the surface,” Westport Supervisor and former CCE employee Dan Connell said. “Soil and Water is in that building, and they do not pay anything to be in there. Cornell pays for the lights and heat for soil and water to be there. If they own it, I am sure that they are going to turn around and charge some rent for soil and water to be there.”
LaVigne said that a new paint job was just the surface of the work that was needed on the building, but that there could be monies available because of its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
“There is a substantial amount of repair work that needs to be done on the building, and they are looking at a match through a historic places grant,” he said.
“Cooperative Extension, Floral Hall, the grandstand and the announcers stand are on the National Registry,” Connell added. “Most of the expensive, old buildings are on the registry, and they are because if they need any work to be done there should be funds available to help with those.”
Morrow said that the biggest key to resolving the painting issue was to make sure the peeling of the old paint could be done without worries of dealing with lead-based paints or asbestos.
“If we have no issues with the paint that is on there, then we do not have to spend anything in painting, we can get the (Moriah) Shock workers there,” Morrow said.
Scozzafava also said there could be local businesses that would donate to the cause.
“There are probably companies out there that would possibly donate the paint as well,” Scozzafava said.