ROTTERDAM -- The town is eyeing a piece of property on Campbell Road as a potential site for a town highway garage.
The Town Board last Friday voted to hire an appraisal firm to estimate the value for eight acres located between Campbell Road and Van Roll Drive, with an entrance roughly across Campbell from the town's sewage treatment plant. Town officials said it is the potential location for a new highway complex.
Property owners GoAhead Realty and Timothy Larned have offered the land for $60,000 per acre, but Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone said no agreement has been reached on the sale. If an agreement is reached, he said the town "is in a good position" to pay cash for the land from unspent 2017 funds.
The disclosure of a possible site comes barely two weeks after town Highway Superintendent Larry Lamora went public at the April 23 Town Board meeting with his concerns that the current garage is inadequate. He urged the Town Board to take action. At that time, Tommasone said the town was in negotiations, but wouldn't say where the site was.
Among issues at the current location is that major road equipment needs to be stored outside and there is no room for salt and sand sheds, Lamora said. He estimated the current garage is on less than two acres of land, and it is bordered by residential properties.
On Monday, Lamora was enthusiastic about the site the town is considering. "It's a perfect location," he said. "It's industrially zoned, it's got the industrial park right behind it and the sewer plant next door, there really aren't many residences around it."
Tommasone said the potential site, one of several the town has looked at, has two advantages over the current aging town garage on Duanesburg Road: It's larger and the location. In addition to being across the street from the sewage treatment plant, it is within a mile of the town's wells and water treatment plant.
The highway department, water department and sewer department are all overseen by Lamora as highway superintendent.
"This is the best site for us," Tommasone said Monday. "It's logistically the right place for us, because all those operations will be right across the street from each other."
The supervisor said it could also give the town a new place for its leaf and brush transfer station, which is located on private property. Town trucks are allowed to bring material to the site, but residents can't take material there directly, as they once did.
"It's to the point where we would need to make an investment in that facility, and we really can't do that on private property," Tommasone said.
Assuming a purchase agreement is reached and approved by the Town Board, Tommasone said he hopes a leaf and brush station can be up and running in the fall, though he added that moving the Highway Department will take a year or two.
"Our state officials have talked to us about grant money for a salt building," he said. "Then we will look at moving the Highway Department."
The town hopes not to have to borrow any money except for the new building, Tommasone said.
The appraisal firm hired by the town, Conti Appraisal & Consulting of Glenmont, will also come up with an estimated sale value for the current garage site on Duanesburg Road, which the town will probably try to sell. The appraisals of the two properties, plus a third property in Rotterdam Junction being purchased to protect a drinking water well area, will cost the town $7,000.
"I'm hoping they move can move forward with this," Lamora said.