The town is continuing to pay for repairs mandated by the state at its highway garage.
The town of Westport continues to seek alternatives to meet the demands for the town shed.
“We have facilities that are inadequate for our needs, but we also don’t have the funds to bring in a consulting firm for a new building,” Supervisor Daniel Connell said. “We’re looking at options but we we aren’t prepared to go to the community with any proposals at this time.”
Peter Gibbs, Vice President of Engineering Ventures, a structural engineering company based out of Burlington, Vt., presented to the town board progress he and his firm had made for alternatives that could improve the quality of the highway department at the regular town board meeting March 27.
Gibbs has worked for the town free of charge for the past few years to help develop a plan for new facilities. Connell said the town has been fortunate to benefit from the donated services of Gibbs.
“He has worked with us for nearly 10 years and we certainly appreciate the time and effort he has given to the town of Westport,” Connell said.
During the town board meeting, Gibbs presented the board with two different strategies for adding to the town highway department. One option would be to build a stand-alone building. The building would be for highway department needs only and would be located near the current garage, up a hill past the current salt storage shed. If the town were to opt to build a new standalone structure, it would need to build roads and connect utilities to provide for the new structure.
Another option the town could pursue would be to create an addition onto the current garage. Gibbs said the construction of the addition would create an L-shaped building.
Gibbs said the next step in the process would be for the board to decide which construction plan to put out RFP’s for.
“We must decide what is the next level of planning so we can make the right decisions for the town,” Gibbs said.
Connell said the board is not prepared to present anything to the town at this time.
Since taking office 11 years ago, Connell said the town has been trying to come up with plans for an upgraded highway garage.
“We spent 10 years creating the proposal for the joint municipal facility,” Connell said. “The plans were unable to be followed through on and now, that project is dead.”
Connell said the multiple code violations that facilities have faced, matched with the need for adequate storage and safety improvements have been slowly met over time. The final code violation notice came from the DEC on Jan. 3.
“The purchase of the new oil/water separator will satisfy the final violation we have for the current highway department,” Connel said. “We have many things we would like to do, but for now we have addressed the violations.”
Connell said the board will approve the purchase of the system at the next regular board meeting.