The village has hired people for planning and construction to convert the former Youth Center to house Village Offices this fall.

With the closing of the Civic Center in Keeseville on Oct. 1, Village Offices and State Police will be moving from their long-time home there to the former youth building by the ice-skating rink.

The building, however, needs work before this can take place, including handicap-accessible bathrooms and an addition for the new police station.

CONSTRUCTION

After some discussion, the Village Board voted 3-2 to hire Charles Willer on a temporary basis to work on the facility. The dissenting votes were cast by Trustees Mary King and John Casey.

"I do not feel we should hire somebody and cover them for workmen's comp and other liabilities at $30 an hour," King said. "Any contractor should have their own insurance."

Mayor Meegan Rock said this temporary appointment will allow the village to save a considerable amount of money.

To hire an electrician, carpenter and plumber would be a lot more than the $30 an hour Willer is being paid, she said.

"We'd have to put it out to bid and pay prevailing wages," Rock said.

Estimates have the renovation of the Youth Center taking about six weeks, although Willer stated it could be done in less time, the mayor said.

DESIGN

The board unanimously voted to hire Ryan Burns of Upstate Design at $1,300 to design the offices that will house State Police.

Burns said that, due to the preliminary nature of the planning, he couldn't discuss the construction yet.

PROJECT BUDGET

King said her concerns about the renovations were based on two factors: a lack of budgeted funds for the project and Wick's Law.

"There is not a budget for all of this," King said of the current plans.

While there is $20,000 set aside for renovations, King said, that may not be enough for the project.

She said that Wick's Law mandates that for any project totaling more than $50,000, the government entity must award a minimum of three separate contracts: one for heating, ventilating and air conditioning, and two others for plumbing and electrical.

King said it is very likely the project will wind up exceeding that $50,000 mark.

"You don't do much on $20,000," she said.

Rock said those fears were unfounded and that the law will not apply to this project.

LEFTOVER MONEY

When Keeseville decided to back out of revolving-fund loans they had used for nearly two decades, certain stipulations were placed on how the remaining money could be used.

King said that at least $100,000 is available from these revolving-fund loans. However, the money can be used only for handicapped facilities within the building, which will cost much less than that, she said.

While the Planning Board has not yet approved all of these proposed renovations, it will be meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the plans.

"I suspect it's going to be a very intense thing," King said.

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