Saratoga County

Deal signed to complete Charlton town hall

Work will resume soon on the half-finished new town hall, the shell of which has sat empty on Charlt
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Work will resume soon on the half-finished new town hall, the shell of which has sat empty on Charlton Road for months.

The town, Rockmore Contracting Corp. of Smithtown, and an insurance bonding company last Friday signed an agreement for Rockmore to finish basic construction of the building by year’s end.

“I’m anticipating in the next two weeks there will be some activity at the site,” said Town Supervisor Alan R. Grattidge. “The Town Board is looking forward to working with Rockmore to complete this phase of the project.”

Rockmore will be paid $1,011,816 by the town to finish most of the general construction work that was left undone when the previous contractor was fired for lack of performance last September.

That contractor, Schmidt & Schmidt of West Charlton, subsequently sued the town for unfair termination, and the town countersued. The matter remains in court.

Rockmore was selected for the completion job through Selective Insurance, the company that held Schmidt & Schmidt’s performance bond. The selection was made months ago, but Grattidge said there has a lengthy negotiation over the scope of the work.

Ground was originally broken for the town hall in June 2006. It will be a 15,000-square-foot Colonial-style two-story building on land next to Gideon Hawley Park, and it was going to cost $3.2 million.

The building, which was years in planning before that, will replace the existing Town Hall on Charlton Road, which is generally acknowledged to be inadequate for the needs of modern government.

Grattidge said the agreement gives Rockmore 210 days to finish the work. “I’d like to see it completed by the end of the year or early next year,” he said.

Maryann Micciantuono, Rockmore’s chief financial officer, said the company is currently in the process of getting bonding in place and other preconstruction preparations.

The arrangement covers only basic building completion. Grattidge said a second phase of work involving interior wood finishing and building the parking lot, sidewalk and other exterior site work still has to be negotiated.

Grattidge estimated the town has incurred $600,000 to $800,000 in additional expenses on the project because of the delays.

Those costs include legal bills, having an emergency contractor brought in to enclose the building before last winter, treating the interior for mold, and providing temporary heat in the structure last winter.

Grattidge said the Town Board is working on a plan to finish the town hall, with the goal of not having to have a town property tax for the first time in 25 years.

The new Town Hall was to be financed through county sales tax and other revenues, and Grattidge said that remains the goal, even though the budget is now $600,000 to $800,000 higher.

“We’re exploring some of our legal options to recover the money,” Grattidge said.

The town is happy with the work of the prime contractors doing the plumbing, electrical and air-handling work, and wants to keep them on the job, Grattidge said. He said the town recognizes they are probably entitled to more money based on the delays caused by replacing the general construction contractor.

Categories: Schenectady County

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