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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, February 19, 2009

In Knox
Steps towards a new town hall

By Zach Simeone

KNOX — As steps are taken towards renovating and expanding its town hall, Knox is paying the $1.3-million price tag piece by piece.

At its Feb. 10 meeting, the town board authorized Supervisor Michael Hammond to make a payment of $14,538 to Sacco & McKinney Architects for architectural engineering services related to the town hall project.

“It’s progressing nicely,” Hammond said yesterday of the project. “It seems like everything is on schedule right now, and we’re anticipating going to bid in the month of May,” he said.

The town hall was built near the center of the hamlet, on the edge of the town park, in 1977. The town board has considered expanding and renovating it for at least a decade.

“They’re putting a huge addition onto the northern face of the existing building, the side you can’t see from the road,” said Robert Price, Knox’s planning board chairman, yesterday. “This will bring up the total area of the building considerably,” he said.

This addition, Price said, will include a new meeting room, offices for building and zoning administrators, a record vault on the ground floor, and a hydraulically powered elevator that goes between the first and second floors, to ensure the building is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“They’re working on a grant to help finance the record vault,” Price said. “The copy room will be moved, the supervisor’s office won’t change at all, though. The new meeting room will have high ceilings in it, and we’ll have a built-in dais that will be semi-circular in shape where court will meet, town board will meet, other boards will meet.”

The whole building, Price said, will be air-conditioned.

“There will be a new roof and new siding on everything,” he went on. “The small windows along the south wall will be enlarged to about double their current size. And there will be an emergency generator to power the building if the power ever goes out.”

The total cost of the project will be close to $1.3 million, Price said. “The town has about a third of that already stashed away,” he said.

The project is expected to reach completion by April 2010, Hammond said, with construction to begin this summer, “so it would be about a 10-month project,” he said.

Other business

In other business at its Feb. 10 meeting, the town board:

— Renewed its contracts with, and made annual payments of $53,523 to, the Altamont

Rescue Squad and Helderberg Rescue Squad. Knox has no rescue squad of its own;

— Made its annual payment of $42,448 to Guilderland Advanced Life Support;

— Made its annual payments of $6,000 to the Altamont Free Library, and $1,500 to the Berne Library. Knox has no library of its own;

— Approved a transfer of $55,000 from the highway fund to the highway capital reserve fund, as budgeted;

— Accepted the resignation of Town Historian Frieda Saddlemire. “The board wishes her well in the future, and hopes that she stays healthy, and thanks her for her contribution to the town as our historian for at least 35 years,” Hammond said; and

— Approved resolution to purchase a new snowplow for $182,275.44. “The town anticipates it’s going to be nine months to a year before we actually receive it, because it has to be built,” Hammond said last month. “We plan on paying for it from the highway equipment reserve fund, and a bond anticipation note,” he said.

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