Saratoga County

Saratoga County Mental Health Department should move into new home in autumn

Saratoga County’s mental health department is scheduled to move into new quarters on South Broadway

Saratoga County’s mental health department is scheduled to move into new quarters on South Broadway in Saratoga Springs in early October, county officials said Tuesday.

The move into the former Topper Pontiac dealership at 135 S. Broadway will come a year after county officials first reached an agreement with owner Frank Parillo to move the mental health services there.

Since then, there has been a series of delays during lease negotiations and waits for city approvals — the most recent of which the Board of Supervisors addressed Tuesday at its monthly meeting in Ballston Spa.

The board agreed to add $14,000 to the base lease with Parillo’s Saratoga Prime Properties to cover the unanticipated cost of installing two additional bathrooms and two secured office areas. The county is now going to pay $28,652 in base monthly rent during the first three years. The amount will rise after the fourth year of what will be a 10-year lease.

In addition, $50,000 was set aside by the board to cover any further unanticipated costs as the renovation work goes forward.

The current county mental health and alcoholism clinics are in buildings rented from Saratoga Hospital, and the hospital is anxious for the county to leave so it can demolish the two buildings as part of an expansion plan.

“Oct. 7 we’re hoping to move,” said county Mental Health Director Hans Lehr. “Right now it looks like everything has fallen into place.”

The interior renovation work at the old auto dealership is being done by Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs, he said.

The relocation will bring all of the county’s mental health programs under one roof. In addition to the clinics located in separate buildings at Saratoga Hospital, the county also has a day treatment program located in rented space in the town of Milton.

One of the identifying architectural features of the Topper building — the semi-circular, glass-fronted showroom — is to be incorporated into the new design.

The board also voted Tuesday to award a $114,610 contract for additional engineering design work on a replacement bridge in Mechanicville to Greeman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany.

The Central Avenue bridge over the Anthony Kill was to have been replaced this year, but design work was delayed in part due to concerns about dealing with soil contamination from a nearby historic utility site. With the additional design work, county Public Works Commission Keith Manz said construction on the $2 million project will be delayed until 2014.

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