The first time, Ticonderoga’s town budget will include a dedicated fund for building maintenance and repair in 2014. An 18-month review of town-owned buildings has been completed by a private firm with recommendations for the future. Some of those recommendations will be included in the 2014 town budget.
The first time, Ticonderoga’s town budget will include a dedicated fund for building maintenance and repair in 2014.
An 18-month review of town-owned buildings has been completed by a private firm with recommendations for the future. Some of those recommendations will be included in the 2014 town budget.
The report was prepared by Alfandre Architecture of New Paltz.
“The bid process and study took about 18 months” Supervisor Deb Malaney said, “and we now have the information to address current and long-term building needs and maintenance schedules and to set aside adequate capital reserves.”
Alfandre was directed to prioritize needs and provide preliminary cost estimates for the historic Community Building, 1888 Building, armory, highway garage and police station. The report focused on three areas — identifying structural, maintenance and repair needs in all buildings; best utilization of space, including offices and staff; and relocation of the police department.
“Our first step is to create a capital reserve account in the next (2014) budget for repairs and maintenance,” the supervisor said. “The study has identified areas in need of repair. We need to make those repairs and create a maintenance schedule for the future.”
The study also took a detailed look at the Ti police station. Citing structural concerns with the current police office on Burgoyne Road, town officials have been searching for a new police headquarters for the last five years.
Ticonderoga officials have long discussed moving the police, but accelerated the discussion in December 2009 when structural issues arose at the police headquarters. The nearly 70-year-old concrete block structure developed a large crack from the foundation up the center of the back wall raising questions about the building’s future.
The police commission previously investigated several possibilities for a new police building and found them lacking. The armory was excluded for police use since it houses youth activities and police don’t want children and criminals in the same building. The downstairs of the Community Building was excluded because of lack of space and parking. The former Rite Aid proved to be too expensive.
“I also requested Alfandre assess moving police to the Community Building and relocating some town office departments to the armory,” Malaney said. “However, cost of renovations, historic building restrictions and safety issues proved to be too expensive.”
Alfandre’s recommendation for cost effective use and efficiency is to eventually consolidate four town departments and equipment — police, highway, public works and grounds — in a new facility at the site of the current highway garage on Race Track Road.
“The deteriorated metal highway garage has long outlived its 25-year life and the police department has structural issues,” Malaney said.
A new building would be costly, the supervisor acknowledged, and is not feasible at this time.
“We’re always looking for grant and funding opportunities,” Malaney said. “Consolidation (of departments) would qualify the town for shared service grants and funding, which would be identified and applied for by the town’s professional grant writers at PRIDE, Essex County Planning Department and Alfandre.
“Grant funding a long process, but we’ll pursue it,” she said.
If funding is found for a new municipal building to house those departments, the current police building could be sold and returned to the tax rolls, Malaney said.
The police situation could sort itself out, Malaney said. A proposal by North Country Community College to convert the former Lowe’s building into an applied technology center includes an offer to house Ti police there.
“The NCC College-Lowe’s project offered a home to the police rent free for up to 10 years with no construction costs and no hidden fees,” Malaney said. “This could potentially be an enormous taxpayer savings and is being factored into the current long range planning.”