The town of Salina held an open house at its town hall Saturday, Oct. 29 in order to drum up support in favor of a referendum Nov. 8 approving the town’s purchase of the Burdick property on Old Liverpool Road.
The town board approved placing the referendum on the ballot at a Sept, 26 board meeting after a presentation outlining the poor conditions at both the town hall and the town highway garage. A similar open house was held at the highway garage last week, though this week’s event at town hall was better attended.
The actual language of the proposition being put to voters on Nov. 8 is as follows:
“Shall there be approved and adopted in the town of Salina, New York, a resolution to purchase premises at 604 Old Liverpool Road, being a 78,000 +/- square foot building on a parcel of 9.99 acres, for a town hall and highway garage, at an estimated price of $2,050,000, and to make the necessary alterations thereto at an estimated cost thereto of $3,880,000, which was proposed by the town board on Sept. 26, 2011?”
Voters must turn over the paper ballot to approve or deny the proposition.
“It’s all in the wrist,” joked Supervisor Mark Nicotra.
“I think the people who came out got an eye-opening experience,” said Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra.
According to town officials, both town buildings are in such poor shape that the cost of renovating them would exceed the cost of purchasing the Burdick property and consolidating the town’s facilities on that property.
Nicotra said the open houses are having the desired effect.
“Once people have an understanding of the issues, they want us to spend their tax dollars as wisely as possible,” he said.
The cost of renovating the existing town hall would be approximately $1.68 million, Nicotra said. Meanwhile, repairs to the garage would cost about $6.2 million. The town wants to purchase the 90,000-square-foot Burdick Chevrolet building on Old Liverpool Road, which Burdick will vacate by the end of 2011 when it moves all of its vehicles to Drivers Village in Cicero. Burdick bought the property from Bresee Chevrolet in the spring of this year for $1.6 million. The town would need to make significant renovations to the property in order to make it suitable for the town’s needs, making the total cost for the town of Salina approximately $5.93 million. If approved, the estimated tax increase would be roughly $15 to $20 on a $100,000 home.
If the referendum is approved, Nicotra said the town would likely move into the new facility some time in 2013. The old highway garage would probably still be used by the town for cold storage. The old town hall would be sold; he suspected it would be gutted by the buyer, conjecturing that it could be turned into something like a senior housing project similar to those completed by Two By Four Companies in North and East Syracuse.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.