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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 13, 2009

Knox accepts bids for $1.3 million town-hall project

By Zach Simeone

KNOX — After accepting eight bids this week, the town board has brought Knox one step closer to a revamped town hall. The project will cost $1,388,447.

The town hall was built near the center of the hamlet, on the edge of the town park, in 1977. The town board began considering an expansion and renovation of the building more than a decade ago.

The town received 28 bids for the project. At its Aug. 11 meeting, the town board accepted these eight bids unanimously:

— Site work to be performed by Rotterdam General Contracting Corp. for $185,000;

— Foundation work by M.A. Schafer Construction, Inc. for $121,500;

— Rough framing work by M.A. Schafer Construction, Inc. for $129,880;

— Roof construction by M.A. Schafer Construction, Inc. for $79,880;

— General building construction by Wainschaf Associates, Inc. for $499,900;

— Plumbing work by Tri-Valley Plumbing & Heating, Inc. for $57,900;

— Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning work by Eckert Mechanical Service Corp. for $165,940; and

— Electrical work by Phoenix Electricians Company, Inc. for $148,447.

The town board also voted unanimously to advertise for the position of clerk of the works for the project. In this seven- to eight-month position, the clerk of the works will be responsible for the quality of construction by the contractors. Applications are due by Wednesday, Aug. 19, with interviews to take place in executive session at special town board meetings on Thursday, Aug. 20, and Monday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.

The project will include an entirely new roof, new siding, offices for building and zoning administrators, and a new meeting room, where each of the town’s governmental bodies will meet, with higher ceilings, and a built-in, semi-circular dais.

There will also be 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. The copy room will be moved, and the whole building will be air-conditioned. The supervisor’s office will remain as is.

The 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 in the case of an outage.

The project is expected to reach completion by April 2010.

Other business:

In other business at its Aug. 11 meeting, the town board:

— Unanimously passed a resolution, subject to permissive referendum, to move $112,720.94 from the capital building reserve fund to the town hall addition and renovation fund;

— Talked briefly about a shipment of furniture delivered to the town, and what the best method would be for storing that shipment during the town hall project; and

— Heard concerns from Berne Planning Board member Timothy Lippert and Berne resident Scott Green regarding the pacing of the development of wind-power ordinances in Knox.

Lippert referred to the amount of research being done by Rensselaerville’s wind-study committee, and urged the town to take its time, adding that the Hilltowns are at the low end on the spectrum of wind availability.

Green is one of the landowners who was approached by Shell WindEnergy last fall in its attempt to line the Helderbergs with 50 massive turbines — a plan that launched the Hilltowns into a heated wind-power debate. Shell later withdrew, but other companies are now interested.

“Industrial wind will divide the community,” Green said, adding that he didn’t accept Shell’s offer because the money was not worth disturbing his neighbors.

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