City Hall repairs added to proposed Amsterdam budget

City officials have agreed to put funding requested by City Hall’s head custodian Jim Crisalli into

City officials have agreed to put funding requested by City Hall’s head custodian Jim Crisalli into their proposed budget for various repairs considered crucial to the former Sanford Mansion.

Crisalli requested $90,000 in next year’s budget. He received $63,000 this year, which he said went toward various projects, including painting offices, repairing bathrooms, fixing windows and patching leaks or fixing water-damaged sections of ceilings. Crisalli said he would have completed more projects if the building’s boiler hadn’t failed this fall.

The Budget Review Committee agreed last week to put Crisalli’s requested money into the budget despite protests from Alderwoman Kim Brumley, C-3rd Ward, who wanted to cut the request to $15,000. Brumley said she wanted to take a comprehensive look at capital repairs at City Hall.

Mayor Ann Thane agreed that officials needed to develop a plan for City Hall but said cutting next year’s funding for building repairs to $15,000 was “a bit extreme.”

Alderman Daniel Roth, R-2nd Ward, said the city should consider bonding and tackling the major repairs to City Hall, including replacing the roof. He said the slowing economy could result in more competitive prices from contractors for the work.

The Budget Review Committee decided 4-2 to keep the request in the budget, with Brumley and Roth opposed.

Brumley said Crisalli still had $16,000 left in his budget and she didn’t believe he could spend it before the current fiscal year ends June 30.

Crisalli said Tuesday that he would spend the rest of this year’s budget making repairs to a small building across the parking lot from City Hall, which was previously the Recreation Department’s offices, and repairing the vinyl flooring on City Hall’s third floor.

Crisalli outlined many inside and outside projects he wanted to tackle with money allocated in next year’s budget. He wants to finish fixing bathrooms and replacing flooring, along with painting and ceiling patch-up jobs.

“My job is to make sure the building is safe and warm, but I also want to create an atmosphere that people feel comfortable working in,” he said.

He said he also needs to rework a wiring panel to increase the building’s amp capacity. He said someone was working on the flooring upstairs Tuesday and blew a fuse while using a hand dryer.

Outside the building, Crisalli said he wants to start fixing the building’s many window panes so water doesn’t deteriorate them further.

“If we keep neglecting these windows, they are going to fall out,” he said.

The building’s south and west side verandas need attention. The stone on the south side has crumbled along with the flooring. The west side veranda needs a new roof, which Crisalli said would cost roughly $100,000.

Parts of the veranda’s flooring leaks causing water to accumulate in the basement. Crisalli said his rain boots are handy for such occasions.

The mansion was built in 1880 for the Sanford family, who were prominent in carpet manufacturing. In 2005, the Mayor Joseph Emanuele III administration raised the possibility of selling the building.

Crisalli said the older building requires increased maintenance that city officials appear hesitant to carry out. He said he thought the officials should sell the building if the city could receive $5 million for it.

With the proper maintenance and work, Crisalli said, he believes the building could sell for $7 million. The 50,000-square-foot building had an appraised value of $412,000 in 2005.

Categories: Schenectady County

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