Press-Republican

Local News

March 28, 2013

Shared-facility idea needs work, officials say

MALONE — Preliminary plans were scrapped for a shared maintenance and service garage proposed for the town, village and Malone Central School District.

The project is designed as three separate spaces to house the Town of Malone Highway Garage, Village of Malone Department of Public Works and School District bus garage.

The multi-million-dollar buy-in for each municipality on the $11 million capital project would be too much to justify to taxpayers, said town officials days after village leaders questioned the expense.

“Tim, at the next meeting, we go back to the drawing board,” Town Supervisor Howard Maneely said to Timothy Whipple, the School District’s business administrator.

Whipple said CS Arch, the project architect, based its conceptual drawing on the wish list that municipal employees had given when the project was first proposed.

NO TANGIBLE ASSET

Representatives from the three entities will meet Thursday to adjust some details since the design includes separate bathrooms, tool rooms and office spaces, for example, instead of sharing those spaces.

Under the proposal, the construction cost alone for the town was $2,652,841, the village’s share was $2,807,762, and the school’s portion would be $5,526,622.

Mayor Todd LePine said the village is being asked to invest nearly $3 million in a project that is not a long-term asset.

“We want to save money taxpayers money, but we don’t want to spend money and have nothing to show for it,” he said. “In the end, the school will pay $5 million for a $12 million asset.”

When the process started, he said, the village determined it needed about 21,000 square feet of space and that it would cost about $2.4 million. 

But the architect’s plan gives the village about 11,000 square feet for the $2.8 million price tag.

LePine said the village wants “true savings” that would come from sharing personnel once retirements took place. He said there would be lasting savings that way because the state-retirement numbers projected in the next five years “are unsustainable.”

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