Westerlo gets grant for new records room in town hall

WESTERLO — Following a months-long application process, the town of Westerlo has tentatively been awarded a $47,000 state grant to build a new records room in its town hall. Records are currently stored in the highway garage a mile-and-a-half down the road, which used to serve as the town hall.

The state’s education department announced in a press release on Tuesday that Westerlo was one among 80 entities to receive a Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant through the New York State archives.

Westerlo Town Clerk Kathleen Spinnato said that the town was informed on June 10 that it had tentatively been awarded $47,416. But, Spinnato said, there are still more steps in the application process before the town can access the money, including approval from the state’s education department, division of budget, and comptroller’s office.

“It’s not a promise,” she said. “It’s not set in stone yet.”

One of the requirements of the grant will be hiring a woman or minority-owned business to assist in the project, said Spinnato.

The town hall was once the Westerlo school and the new records room is expected to be built where the stage currently is, in the large open room that had served as the school cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. The room will have new shelving and be fireproof, said Spinnato.

Town records are currently kept in the highway garage, a building in need of renovation, which still houses the town court. Spinnato said it is inconvenient to travel to the highway garage, unlock the building, access records, and then return to town hall while a substitute fills in for her.

“If it was right here in the building, it would be great,” she said.


More Hilltowns News

  • In the midst of questions and controversies surrounding the Berne Planning Board in the past four months, Councilman Mathew Harris says it may not exist in the first place.

  • Westerlo Supervisor William Bichteman laid out a worst-case-scenario fiscal plan Tuesday that would see the 2021 tax levy increase anywhere from 10- to 15-percent. Bichteman stressed that the scenario was projected using “best-guess” budgeting based on a lack of information regarding sales-tax revenue from higher levels of government and that the probabilities are almost entirely unknown, but that he wants to start having the conversation before it’s too late.

  • Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s senior planning committee is looking at other venues for the school’s graduation ceremony, typically held at The Egg in Albany,  that will accommodate social-distancing guidelines while allowing students a meaningful send-off. 

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