Ballston Spa village officials have dropped the idea of buying a new village hall and have resumed efforts to make the current village offices more handicapped-accessible.
A proposal to buy a commercial building at 35 Bath St., discussed last December, was dropped because a village-commissioned appraisal concluded the building was worth far less than the asking price of more than $500,000, said Mayor John P. Romano. The disparity was large enough that the village didn’t make an offer.
“By law, we cannot pay an amount significantly in excess of the appraised value,” Romano said.
That prompted the Village Board to revive plans to make the current Village Hall, located at 66 Bath St. in an 1873 building originally built as a bank, handicapped-accessible. It currently has steep stone front steps that must be climbed to enter the offices.
The board voted Monday to hire village engineers Clough Harbour & Associates of Colonie to design a handicapped entrance on the west side of the building. It would use a lift, and the entrance would be cut into a side of the building that currently has no openings.
The village began considering buying a different building after it got an $85,000 estimate last year for the same accessibility project.
Village officials earlier decided a lift made more sense than building a ramp that would require maintenance and consume a significant amount of space.
Romano said the money for the project will be borrowed to minimize the immediate cost for taxpayers.
“You have to play with the hand you’re dealt,” he said.