County considers leasing building

Montgomery County would pay $1.1 million annually to lease a new county office building under a reso
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Montgomery County would pay $1.1 million annually to lease a new county office building under a resolution to be considered in coming weeks, a county official said Wednesday.

The resolution was approved Tuesday by a group of county officials meeting as the Needs Assessment Committee, committee chairman Thomas DiMezza said Wednesday.

DiMezza, supervisor of the town of Amsterdam, said figures aren’t yet firm and there are points of negotiation that could lower the price, including the exact size of the facility and specific maintenance tasks the county might be able to perform through its public works department.

The resolution calls for a 30-year lease on the building not to exceed 91,000 square feet.

If approved, it would be built in the Glen Canal View Business Park on state Route 5S, DiMezza said.

Montgomery County offices are situated in two main buildings, the county office complex on Broadway in Fonda and an annex building, the old Fonda school, on Park Street in the village.

Serious discussion on a new facility began after the Park Street building, located near the Mohawk River, was inundated in the summer 2006 flood.

“I would never vote to put any money into that building. It’s inefficient, it’s ineffective,” DiMezza said.

Inadequate parking and office space are cited as issues faced at the Broadway facility.

The county recently hired six new caseworkers to address a growing number of child services cases and there has been trouble finding a place for them at the Broadway offices of the county social services department, DiMezza said.

“We don’t even have room for them, they’re on top of each other,” DiMezza said.

DiMezza said details, like exactly which offices would be moved to the new facility, would be worked out if the initiative progresses. He said it’s likely the county clerk’s office would remain at the Broadway location.

The measure will head to the county Board of Supervisors’ finance committee later this month, DiMezza said.

Finance Committee Chairman Tom Quackenbush on Wednesday said the 2006 flooding convinced him the county should not be using the annex building in Fonda any longer than it has to.

Quackenbush said there are roughly 60 air conditioners sticking out of windows throughout the building, and its inefficiency is expensive.

“We are spending so much money on the old building now,” Quackenbush said.

Leasing a facility could provide savings in that the county would not have to front large amounts of money for construction, and it would give county officials options in the future, Quackenbush said.

The decision will ultimately rest on the supervisors’ willingness to spend, Quackenbush said.

“When is the right time to spend money? I don’t know if there’s ever a right time to spend money,” he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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