DeWitt Town Board votes 5-2 to spend $99,000 on park building roof repairs

— The DeWitt Town Board voted 5-2 Monday to pay Josall Syracuse Inc. $99,242 to fix the roof and shore up the structure of the parks maintenance facility located at 5889 Butternut Drive.

Board members argued over whether the town should commit funds to fixing a building whose future isn’t certain. The building, purchased by the town in 2001, is home to park maintenance equipment and the office of the parks superintendent.

“This was a temporary fix in 2001,” said Councilor Ken Andrews. “It was absolutely meant to be a temporary housing of the department.”

“Never did I hear let’s let the building fall down,” Supervisor Ed Michalenko responded.

Andrews and Michalenko, along with councilors Kerry Mannion, Irene Scruton and Jack Dooling, voted in favor of the motion to award the contract to Josall while councilors Brian Schultz and Tony Albanese voted against.

Dooling introduced the motion by reporting that Josall had the lowest bid out of four contractors. Josall re-quoted the job with the town's recent findings that the roof contains some asbestos, Dooling said. With snowfall on its way, he said, getting the roof fixed has become “an emergency situation.”

“They can do the roof starting in December and hopefully the labor will be done in January, maybe sooner,” Dooling said. “And we would not have to vacate the building.”

Schultz said the building was of poor quality, starting with the mold on the walls, and was not worth investing in.

“There’s only one locker room, so you don’t have a co-ed facility,” he said. “There’s no break room of any kind to speak of.”

He said he has discussed the issue for the last three months with the facilities committee, which includes the town’s department heads and director of operations and sustainability, Mike Moracco.

“And we’ve consulted with the town engineer and it’s unanimous — nobody thinks it’s a good idea to put any money in this building,” Schultz said.

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