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(MORE) LEGISLATURE STUFF - Money in Memory of and Invested

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/29/24 | 2/29/24

By Michael Ryan

CATSKILL - It is going to cost money to try and save money following actions taken by the Greene County Legislature.

Lawmakers, during a recent meeting, approved two resolutions authorizing the hiring of Delaware Engineering to conduct infrastructure studies.

The first resolution paves the way for the Albany-based firm to perform a structural evaluation of 90 Allen Street in the town of Catskill.

A professional look-see is needed “to determine the extent of repairs that are required to rehabilitate the building’s structure per current New York State Existing Building Codes,” the measure states.

90 Allen Street, just off Route 23, serves as the county’s Buildings & Grounds maintenance department/administration office.

Lawmakers okayed an expenditure of $9,500 for the job which has a very specific purpose. “New York State was supposed to deed this property to the county some years ago,” legislature chairman Patrick Linger says.

“For whatever reason, the documents were never filed so we are just getting around to solidifying that deed. We need to know the overall condition of the building to make the transfer,” Linger says.

Delaware Engineering, in its proposal to the county, noted “an existing 66’x40’ two-story structure on the site is currently occupied.

“The client (Building & Grounds superintendent Craig Seaburg) notes the following; “My shop has exterior concrete block walls that are bowing and [have] some large cracks.

“The roof is in bad shape and leaking. The steel beams on the lower level are rusted and not in the best shape,” Seaburg wrote

Engineers will provide a report that includes a, “discussion on existing conditions, recommended improvements, a cost estimation of the recommended improvements and design/construction timeline.”

The second resolution gives the green light to pay Delaware Engineering a fee of $12,500 for a similar assessment of a barn located at the county office building at Angelo Canna Park in the town of Cairo.

“A 50’X36’ unoccupied 2-story structure is in need of a structural evaluation to get a better understanding of what improvements and repairs are necessary in order to utilize the building as a future workshop,” the resolution states.

The same type of engineering overview will be supplied in addition to “a discussion on any available grants that may be accessed for capital improvements.”

While no one was against a veterans group using the spot for a workshop, not everyone agreed the 12-plus G’s should be invested in this fashion.

“I am the only one who voted no on this,” Linger said. “I was initially in agreement when I thought it might be between $3,500 to $5,000.

“But the building was built in 1950. It is old. We could raise the building six feet out of the flood plain and restore it but it would still be old.

“We could put up a shed on the back side of the property and that $12,500 would pay for half of a new building,” Linger says.

“The State has said we can’t put anybody in that building until there is a study but to me, it is throwing good money at a bad situation.”

In other matters:

—Lawmakers approved a budget amendment, adding $277,623 to the Wayne Speenburgh County Legislature Grant Program, increasing the overall sum to $506,670.

The dollars are annually set aside in memory of Speenburgh, the former legislature chairman who had childhood roots in the town of Prattsville.

Speenburgh made the rare move of choosing a Democrat to head a legislative committee in an otherwise Republican-dominated board.

He was also a seemingly tireless presence in multiple communities during the devastating flooding in 2011 from Hurricane Irene.

To fund the grant, lawmakers set aside twenty percent of the new proceeds generated by the annual county auction of properties acquired through the In-Rem foreclosure procedures.

Initially focusing on activities and programs recommended by a special Task Force on youth, lawmakers subsequently recognized that senior citizens, veterans and non-profit groups could benefit from the grant.

Individual lawmakers periodically seek the funding based on requests from their constituents, assisting a variety of community projects.

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