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Philmont sees plans for new, $568K DPW garage


PHILMONT — The village got its first look at a proposed new Department of Public Works garage Monday.

At their monthly meeting February 14, village trustees viewed a presentation by Ray Jurkowski of Morris Associates, showing a 5,000-square-foot, metal sided pole barn with five bays and repair work and administrative areas.

The site will be on the edge of the village on Maple Avenue on land the village already owns. The existing garage will likely be razed.

Estimated total project cost, including contingencies and “soft costs,” like engineering, legal fees, financing and inspection, is estimated at $568,676. Given a 15-year bond at 5% and the village’s $51 million total assessed value, the project would add $1.05 per $1,000 assessed value to property taxes. That translates to $158 per year for a property assessed at $150,000.

But, Mr. Jurkowski told the board, the actual bite of the project could be much less. He said he has consulted with DPW chief Mike Scheller, who says DPW workers, using village equipment, can do all the site work and grading, and take on much of the interior construction, like partitions. That could save the village as much as $150,000, Mr. Jurkowski said.

“We’ve got to do better than $1.05,” said Trustee Brian Johnson, referring to the projected tax rate increase. “I won’t vote for that.”

Mr. Johnson has been the board’s prime mover of the garage project.

Also in his presentation, Mr. Jurkowski offered several reasons for replacing the existing DPW garage at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Eagle Street. Among them are that the overhead doors on the 2,500-square-foot building are narrow, making access and egress difficult; inside, there is little room for crews to do repair and maintenance work on equipment.

If the garage goes, so will salt, sand and fuel storage, as well as heavy vehicle traffic, all of which would be removed from the residential neighborhood.

And the flat roof where ice and snow accumulate would no longer be a problem; the proposed new garage has a peaked roof.

The board took no action on the proposal Monday, but expects to schedule a public hearing on a bond resolution before spring.

Plans for the new building can be viewed at the village office on Main Street during business hours.

Also at Monday’s meeting, trustees:

+ Heard from Library Director Karen Garafalo that three village kids, Livvy Cashen, Nate Clark and Sam Hoppe, have organized a board-games-and-brownies session to meet every other Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 at the library. Next gathering is March 2; ages 6 to 12 are welcome.

+ Heard a reminder that the village election takes place Tuesday, March 15. Mayor Clarence “Skip” Speed is opposed by Brian Wheeler; also on the ballot are two trustee seats, with incumbents Lawrence Ostrander and Douglas Cropper unopposed.

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