Montgomery County

Amsterdam council eyes costly repairs to pair of buildings

The Amsterdam Common Council, the mayor and city employees discussed several capital projects Tuesda

The Amsterdam Common Council, the mayor and city employees discussed several capital projects Tuesday, chief among them replacing the heating and cooling system in the Public Safety building and mending the roof of the Department of Public Works building.

During a Committee of the Whole meeting, Police Chief Gregory Culick said there are 10 heating and air conditioning vents in the Public Safety building that need to be replaced, and each would cost around $40,000. He presented several pictures to the media and the council, showing mold and rust that has built up around the vents.

“The building is coming up on 50 years old, and this is the original systems,” he said. “As you can see, they are rotten and need to be replaced.”

First Ward Alderman Edward Russo said this project should be a top priority and the council should move forward to approve roughly $400,000 to repair the system.

“I think this is the No. 1 priority,” Russo said. “This is something we really need to get done. These are really in bad shape. We have been talking about doing this for a while, and I think it’s time we get this done.”

Mayor Ann Thane asked City Engineer Richard Miller if the expense is something the city could bond for. Miller said he believed it was.

Repairs to the roof of the DPW building would also cost roughly $400,000, Miller said.

“The roof is shot, and it has numerous leaks, and it needs new insulation,” he said.

This led Thane to urge the council to consider constructing a new building and moving out of the current one, which she says was built in 1938.

“When we look at the age of this building, maybe its time to think about moving and getting something new,” Thane said, adding that it may cost $2 million to construct a new building. “We have looked at the building on Edson Street and several others.”

Miller said the reason it would cost so much to repair the roof on the current DPW building “is because when we repaired it the last time, they built a phony roof over it because they didn’t have the products we have now. So what they have to do is take the roof off and redo the roof that is underneath.”

In other business, the council voted to move roughly $29,000 from a contingency line of credit to the DPW budget to purchase more salt.

“We need the salt, and this is something we have to do,” city Controller Matt Agresta said.

As of Feb. 6, there was roughly $13,000 left in the overtime budget for DPW employees. Citing heavy snowfall in recent weeks, Agresta expects the department to exceed that figure. At a meeting next week, the council will discuss adding funding to the department’s overtime budget.

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