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

— He advised against spending money on fixing the roof if the town plans to then look at longer-term options such as relocating the maintenance facility.

“That’s not the town’s job, to be the holder of real estate because it may be useful someday,” he said.

Michalenko said he respectfully disagreed.

“That building will be useful in some form or another. That property is integral in our long-term plans,” he said, adding that between the parks and recreation, police, highway and water departments, the town will need the building for storage.

“If parks and rec were to vacate that building, we would have adequate use of that with our other departments,” he said.

The supervisor said he would rather the town commit $99,242 to fixing the roof than allow the building to collapse under its own weight.

“I would love to make this an election issue,” he said, “because I think it’s a wise and prudent use of the taxpayers’ money.”

Mannion said it made sense to award the contract and allow work on the roof to begin.

“If we don’t do this, we’ll have to go out and rent four or five thousand square feet,” he said. “We’re gonna spend that $99,000 in three or four years on going out to rent additional space.”

He added: “We’ve been talking about this building for [years] and we don’t seem to have a plan for it.”

He said he thought the building was adequate for storing equipment.

“It’s a decent building, it’s flooded a few times,” he said. “It stores vehicles inside. There’s no documents on the floor. It’s a garage, really."

The building, which sits at a lower elevation than the nearby highway garage, is prone to flooding at ground level. Michalenko said it has flooded twice since 2001.

“If you’re gonna sink any money into this building, fix everything, not just the roof,” Albanese said. “If you’re gonna do it, do the whole job completely.”

Michalenko promised to pursue the flooding issue at its base.

“I believe the flooding can be mitigated in that area,” he said. “It’s a man-made impediment that’s causing the flooding … the railroad trestle is holding back water.”

Ned Campbell can be reached at editor@eaglebulletin.com.

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