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What you need to know for 08/17/2017

Amsterdam to borrow $3.5M for projects

Amsterdam to borrow $3.5M for projects

The city is looking to borrow roughly $3.5 million to pay for a host of capital projects, nearly hal

The city is looking to borrow roughly $3.5 million to pay for a host of capital projects, nearly half involving demolition.

The Common Council recently whittled down a list of priority work, and a final resolution awaits review by bond counsel, officials said.

The biggest item on the list is demolition of the former Esquire Novelty factory building on Forest Avenue, estimated to cost about $1 million. The six-story brick building is falling apart, and Fourth Ward Alderman David Dybas said its crumbling condition warrants quick action.

“It’s a public hazard right now. It better be taken down before somebody gets hurt,” he said.

Though the building is a dilapidated eyesore, the property is considered prime real estate for future development and is among sites city officials have been urging developers to consider.

Another $500,000 would be earmarked for demolition of dilapidated city-owned properties, and a new roof for historic City Hall would cost an estimated $90,000.

The council approved spending $250,000 for improvements inside and outside the Department of Public Works building, including paving the parking lot and driveways. Also, $125,000 would be spent on a dump truck and $190,000 for a street sweeper.

A new 5,000-gallon fuel tank would be installed at the DPW facility for $60,000, and the city would upgrade its two-way radio system for $40,000.

The borrowing would also pay for $65,000 to repair the elevator at Riverlink Park and paint the towers.

Officials considered spending $1 million to paint the massive water tank near William B. Tecler Arts in Education Magnet School, but decided to put that project off.

City Controller Ronald Wierzbicki said if approved, the borrowing will bring the city’s total debt service — including principal and anticipated interest spending — up to about $30 million.

Some projects are tied to grant funding and others may qualify for state programs that could relieve some of the cost, he said.

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