It’s taken three years and will end up costing the town $4 million, but the new Town Hall on Charlton Road is finished enough for town employees to move in next week.
“It’s been a long and winding road to get here,” Town Supervisor Alan R. Grattidge readily acknowledged.
Town officials announced Thursday that offices will close at the current Town Hall on Tuesday, to reopen at their new much more modern location on July 10.
“Thursday is the regular court night and we’ll have court at the new location Thursday night, then the town clerk will be open for regular hours on Friday,” Grattidge said.
The two-story, 9,500-square-foot Colonial building has been plagued by delays since contracts were awarded in 2006, including contractor disputes, lawsuits, replacement of the general contractor mid-job and even a small fire in March that set work back by a month. The project will end up costing about $800,000 more than the original $3.2 million budget.
With use of available funds, already approved borrowing and a hoped-for lawsuit settlement, Grattidge said the building isn’t going to require the town to impose a property tax, which would have been the first since the early 1980s.
The new building is a culmination of many years of effort.
Town officials had complained for a long time about conditions in the old building, a former fraternal meeting hall built in 1892. It had very limited office space and little parking.
About 3 acres of land next to Gideon Hawley Park were purchased in 2000, with the goal of building there. The site is about a quarter-mile from the current hall, still in the middle of the Charlton Historic District.
Town voters in 2005 authorized the project and the necessary borrowing through a public referendum.
“The Town Board has been very happy with how the building turned out. People will be very happy. It has a historic feel to it, and that was one of our primary goals for the project,” Grattidge said.
The building has a Colonial Georgian design, intended to help it fit into the historic hamlet, where some houses are more than 200 years old. An ornamental clock tower is at the peak.
On the first floor, the town clerk, assessors, building department, tax collector, town constables and town historian will all now have their own offices. The meeting room is also there.
The town courts, courtroom, town supervisor and bookkeeper will be on the second floor.
The basement includes an atmosphere-controlled and fire-rated storage room for town records.
Grattidge said Thursday that contractors were still doing some interior finish work and new furniture is in the process of being delivered, but the building is essentially ready.
Except for the building department holding hours as usual Tuesday night at the old Town Hall, all town offices will close on Tuesday and remain closed until Friday.
A ribbon-cutting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, July 13, to be followed at 7:30 p.m. by the first Town Board meeting in the new meeting rooms.
An open house is planned for 9 to 11 a.m. July 25, with a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m.
State officials who helped get grants for the project, including state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, have been invited to the dedication.
“We have a lot of people we need to thank,” Grattidge said.
The old Town Hall is going to become a place for routine use by the Charlton Senior Citizens, who will hold their large meetings at the new Town Hall.
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