GLENVILLE — The Town Board is continuing to develop plans for a new Town Hall despite the financial crisis facing many municipal governments during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said Glenville has the financial resources to get through the rest of the year and into 2021 without major budget cuts or tax increases. He said the town needs to think in terms of the future, though he said no decision has been made about building a new Town Hall.
“We’re not advocating for this, we’re exploring it,” Koetzle said Wednesday after architects presented more design details on a plan that would build a new Town Hall east of the Schenectady County library property, and renovate the existing Town Hall into a building exclusively for Police Department and court use.
The two properties are both owned by the town, and connect behind the county library property.
The plans call for building an 8,000-square-foot, one-story building near the crest of the hill, then renovating the existing building to increase the space and improve security for both the Police Department and town courts. Rough estimates developed by CSArch architects of Albany put the cost of the Town Hall at between $2.75 million and $3 million, and of the renovation work at between $2.5 million and $2.75 million, including replacing the building’s mechanical systems.
While the cost could be more than $5.5 million, CSArch designer/architect Ron Bagoly said the two-building plan was the least expensive and most feasible of five options studied.
Koetzle said that assuming a $1.5 million state grant for police station renovations can be used, financing the project over 30 years would raise the taxes of a house assessed at the $171,000 town average by $17 per year. In Scotia, where the average assessment is lower, the additional cost would be $12 per year.
Koetzle said no decisions will be made until the pandemic concerns have eased sufficiently that the public can attend meetings in person again. Wednesday night’s meeting was streamed live on Facebook as the public was not allowed to attend in person. All five Town Board members were in the room — wearing masks — for the first time since March.
“We won’t make a decision until people can sit down in a room together,” Koetzle said.
None of the board members have raised major objections to the project, and some appear to be leaning in favor of going forward. The earliest possible groundbreaking would be in the spring of 2021.
“I haven’t made my mind up, but we need to think for the town’s future, for 30 years from now,” said Councilwoman Gina Wierzbowski.
“We’re in a crisis, but we need to think long-term,” Koetzle said.