November 22, 2012

3 entities to mull shared garage

MALONE — Town-owned land on Lower Park Street may be used to house a one-stop facility for town highway, village public works and school transportation operations.

Town Supervisor Howard Maneely surprised members of the Malone Shared Services Committee by announcing from the audience Tuesday night he will meet next Tuesday with Malone Central School District Business Administrator Timothy Whipple and others about the idea.

Preliminary discussions revealed they would like to share a garage, Maneely said.

The school could qualify for 90 percent state-aid reimbursement, which would pay for a majority of the project, leaving the town and village to each kick in 5 percent of the cost, he said.


It was suggested that if an architectural design and estimated costs can be drawn up quickly, a plan could go before voters as soon as school-budget votes in May.

A $1 million shared town-village complex at the existing Highway Department site on Route 11 was recommended as part of the village-dissolution study. Dissolution was rejected by voters by a 2-to-1 margin earlier this month.

But that idea has now broadened to include the School District, which failed in its attempt in 2008 to get voter approval to build a $12.5 million transportation facility on 110 acres it planned to buy for $525,000 at the corner of Route 11 and Houndsville Road.

That site was to have 39 bays to hold the district’s fleet and allow for maintenance, a washing station and spare-parts storage. It would have replaced the existing bus garage at Franklin Academy High School, which was built in 1965.


The Houndsville Road site has since been added to the Franklin County Agricultural District, meaning it can be used only for agricultural purposes.

“That land is gone,” said Mayor Todd LePine.

But the town owns 58 acres on Lower Park Street behind the County Garage that could be developed for the facility.

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