Apr 08, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Members of the Marcellus Town Hall and Marcellus Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall to discuss Village Mayor Mike Plochocki’s proposal to renovate the old library building into a new Town Hall facility.
Plochocki’s statements last week that the old library on Slocombe Avenue, now owned by the village, could be converted into an adequate Town Hall for just $750,000 came directly after residents rejected the Town Board’s plan for a renovation and addition to the current facility and left the board rushing to bring the building up to code before the May 15 deadline.
But Plochocki’s suggestion missed the point, the board argued, particularly the goal of finding a long-term solution to the town’s needs.
“Why would we get ourselves into renovating something in as bad a shape as what we’ve got?” Councilor Bernie Montgomery said. “On top of that, I think that building’s smaller than what we’re in now.”
Supervisor Dan Ross shared the same concerns.
“I don’t need a building, I have a building. If we want to fix a building, we’ll fix this one,” Ross said.
Ross said he had previously told Plochocki the town was not interested in the old library because it was not big enough and not in good condition – two problems the board faces now with the current facility.
Board members Tom Lathrop, Bernie Montgomery and Don Sherman all said Plochocki’s proposal to renovate the old library was news to them, though Plochocki had indicated that he had discussed the possibility with the town.
Montgomery said he had heard rumors that the idea was being discussed, but that it had never actually been presented to him by village officials or even discussed by the board.
Plochocki said he has met with Ross on two occasions to discuss the option.
Aside from an apparent lack of communication, there are several other reasons the Town Board is skeptical of this proposal.
Among those reasons, according to Montgomery, are a leaky roof, faulty heating system, inadequate handicapped accessibility and a lack of space.
Not to mention the parking.
“The biggest problem is there’s no parking, no parking whatsoever,” Montgomery said.
Both Lathrop and Ross also pointed out the roof needs repairs and the building was not big enough or handicapped accessible.
“I don’t think think it’s such a hot idea,” Sherman said. He likened taking on the old library to purchasing a used car. “We already have an old building.”
Though Plochocki claimed renovating and building a small addition to the old library would cost just $750,000, all three town officials were skeptical of that number.
“I suspect when you add in all of the renovations that need to be done, it’s going to be higher than that,” Ross said. He also noted Plochocki’s suggestion of demolishing the village highway garage to create parking space. “Where’s the cost for that?” Ross asked.
“What have you got after you spend $750,000? A building that’s 100 years old and inefficient,” Lathrop said.
That point will certainly be one that the town will ask Plochocki to explain in detail Thursday.
Town board members also agreed they had not seen Lake Architectural’s plans for the renovation.
A decision must be made
The bottom line though – whether or not the old library building is being considered by the town – is that the May 15 deadline for bringing the current Town Hall up to code is quickly approaching.
Montgomery said during the March work session the board discussed their options, but nothing was decided.
According to Ross, now that the referendum has been rejected by voters, the town will need a plan to present to the state Department of Labor by that date to at least show they are working on a solution.
“We are looking at an indoor stairway, fire escapes, a lot of different things,” Ross said.
The town board will meet for their regular April board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday April 13.