Buildings and Facilities Task Force

Monday, February 5, 2024 - 9:00 am


Steve McNally - Chairman


Chairman McNally called this task force to order at 9:00 am with the following in attendance: Matt Brassard, Chris Clark, Robin DeLoria, Derek Doty, Steve McNally, Cathleen Reusser, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler, Davina Winemiller, Meg Wood, Mark Wright, Jim Dougan, and Mike Mascarenas.


Also present: Dina Garvey, Andrew Stanley, Hugh Harwood, Bill Johnston and Nancy Page.


MCNALLY: Jimmy, go ahead.


DOUGAN: We’ll start with Andrew.


STANLEY, A: We’ll go over the Ag and Youth Building, so currently AEDA has submitted a detail design package to DPW. We’re on a review with that, a fairly large set of drawings, some of them 80 pages. There’s still a fair amount of detail that needs to be included in the drawings in order to have a construction grade set. That’s kind of where we’re at with that.

Scheduling moving forward, by the end of this week, we intent to have a full application submitted and RD should have about 30-days to review, and they will issue us a letter of conditions and obligations. At that point we will be able to submit the detailed designs and documents. So, that will be everything that was ready to go out to bid. They will have about a 60-day review on that, but we have been submitting as we go, so they have more than what they need at this point, so they should move fairly quickly. Once they’re finished with their review they’ll issue some closing instructions and an okay to advertise. So, following that timeline, we should be advertising the project sometime around the end of May.


DOUGAN: Their full application includes the environmental work being done.




DOUGAN: So, that’s why it’s a bit of a process of their full application, so we’ve submitted environmental, so when Andrew, said they’ve already reviewed most things, they have. They’ve already seen most things or in just the last few documents, Anna’s not here, she’s been handling most of that, but that should be submitted again, by the end of this week and we actually hope it will go quicker than the timeframe, because they’ve seen a lot it.


STANLEY, A: There shouldn’t be a lot of comment back, because they’ve already commented on a lot of that, so once they have the full application it should be a matter of formalities.

The Old Jail; all the files have been removed and relocated to different areas. The asbestos abatement is complete. All the voting machines that are in service have been moved to the Public Safety Building and Board of Elections is working on IT on decommissioning some of those that are in there that they don’t use anymore and dispose of those. They also have some files and storage units that still need to be moved and that should be moved by the end of this month.


MASCARENAS: They largely will just be gotten rid of. So, you have to take the hard drives out, you have to destroy them and then what you have left are metal carts. We are going to repurpose some of them, maybe some portable desks in the future that we can utilize for swing space, different locations when we’re doing carpet projects, those types of things. We were looking at them for tool boxes, basically for mechanics. So, if we have some left and you have some of those things and you have some of those things that you want and you want to see them, they’re basically a box on wheels, metal, they stand about my height, if anybody has any interest, let us know, you can take a look at them and see what you think. I do think they would he handy for a highway department in particular, for tools and equipment and that kind of stuff. We did get the final space secured on Friday for their storage, so we’re in good shape.


STANLEY, A: The new few weeks, we would like to advertise the pod on Auctions International, there will be a few things put together there, pictures and some descriptions together. We would relocate Probation to the Emergency Service Building. We have carpet ordered, right now, to get them up there. Painting has been done or is being done. We’re about 6-weeks out from having carpet and we’ll schedule D & D to get in there and install it. Once they’re out of there, we can work on relocating some of the utilities that can’t be moved right now with them currently occupying the space.


MASCARENAS: We’re also about 6-weeks out on furniture. The State hasn’t renewed the State contracts. So, it is hard to find an furniture company that even has an award right now.


STANLEY, A: That’s pretty much that. I mean working on getting the docs for the jail, itself is ready, so as soon as all that stuff falls together, we’ll be able to put that out and hopefully get somebody in here, pretty quick to just remove the building. It shouldn’t take too long.


DOUGAN: We are doing a little bit of investigations and some drawing. We’re probably going to install a conduit bank from the, where Probation, that building right now, into Treasurer’s and then continuing on to the other side of that building, into the courthouse. That’s how somethings run, right now., but through the old jail. So, there’s a few utilities, not much electric, but there’s some fiber, there’s some fair alarms, a little bit of telephone, still, that actually run through there. So, we’re going to going to permanently put a conduit bank in, outside of where the old jail is, so we can run around that. We’ll coordinate with IT, because they’re already planning to do that fiber update through that area. So, that will be something we have ready and we’ll tackle early spring.


STANLEY, A: So, we’ll move onto Frontier Town. So, in the fall in removed some brush, some trees and cleaned up the area to get ATL in there, they had to some sampling for their survey. There’s potentially some asbestos, electrical wires on the Main Street, there. We’re not a 100% sure, but something, steps that we’ve got to go through. We did get a response back from APA. They are going to require a site visit there to make a determination. So, therefore we can’t really do any demo in that area until they make that determination.


DOUGAN: We had to submit, the area specifically around the Gist Mill, because they created some ponds way back when, APA is now calling that wetland, so, we’ve got to schedule a site visit.


STANLEY, A: They won’t come up until the ground’s clear.


DOUGAN: We still don’t have a contract. We have an award letter, but we still don’t have a contract. Once we know the status of our hazardous materials, our asbestos, we’ll start to build a package to put that out to bid, if there is asbestos, but at some point, if we still don’t have a contract, then this committee will need to make a decision of whether we’re going to move forward of spending those kinds of dollars or if we’re going to wait until we have a contract. We know how the State has been.


DOTY: Jim, remind me of the award.


DOUGAN: $1.9, $1.89, just under $2 million.


DOTY: And you said you have a date scheduled for the site review with APA or not?


STANLEY, A: No, they won’t let us know, probably a month ahead of time.


DOUGAN: They’ve got to do a walk through.


DOTY: If I can help by being involved, send me a little not.


DOUGAN: Great, thank you.

We kind of moved fairgrounds into this. This is our typically, what we put out before, our events since last meeting. Boquet Valley had a drill and they used Floral Hall, they called it an early dismissal, but I think it was being prepped for an emergency and then our events. Our first event for this year will be Soil and Water’s tree and scrub sale, the pickup and then the Ag Society has a craft and vendor fair, craft show and then we have a new vendor, who at least for the first six weeks is going to Saturdays is going to have a dog training, dog obedience class that they give there and that’s all that’s really lined up so far. The Harvest Festival has specifically selected a date, Ag Society has not given me a date for the fair, yet and we have a private wedding for 2025, already scheduled. 


LEE: Is there an environmental field days on there. Also?


DOUGAN: Yup, they’re a little bit farther out, but yes, I think it is. I think it might be in May. Didn’t make the calendar, yet. I believe Alice was trying to determine whether it was going to be two days long on one day long.

And then just other items going on. Snow and ice removal, nutrition, we’ve been building some replacement fence pickets and then our maintenance mechanic have been helping with removing these files that Andrew talked about earlier. Hugh and Glen, down there have also been, have talked a few times about us finding where our electric is and trying to be able to hand it to vendors, so they know exactly what’s available at a particular location. So, as they’re scheduling vendors or scheduling how they’re going to setup their events, we aren’t, the last day of the event moving things around. So, he’s got some drawings and stuff here. They’re kind of draft right now, but it’s coming along pretty good and before we have major events, I think we’ll be able to hand that to the vendors.


LEE: There’s, someone’s asked about buildings that are privately owned on the fairgrounds.


TYLER: There is none.


LEE: Thank you, that’s exactly what my question was.


TYLER: We went through that several years ago, we took care of that issue.


LEE: That’s what I thought, so I just wanted to make sure that I was saying the correct thing.


DOUGAN: We did carry money in the budget for a digital sign and for revised entrance at Sisco Street.


TYLER: The Fair is the 14th.


DOUGAN: The 14th - the 18th?


TYLER: Correct


DOUGAN: So, we have some drawings that we created last year that we’re, we’ve got a special permit application that’s got to go to the Town of Westport regarding the digital sign. We expect to submit that later this month to George, regarding the entrance at Sisco Street. Again, we did some drawings last year and we’re going to submit that to DOT this month, so that we can get their approval and we’ll start the process of procuring things.

Painting of Floral Hall was 90% complete last year, we got some work to finish in the spring, along with the former CCE Building. That was about 50% complete, we’ll finish that in the spring, as well.

The Wi=Fi, IT has already ordered certain materials, equipment that the County will own and then we’re working on a contract with the installation of fiber. Trying to coordinate that also with the new Ag and Youth Building.

And then I just did kind of an update sheet as we’ve had in the past with all the projects going on. The Main Complex, IT and Personnel continue to work with these door cards, they’ve added more and more people to it. I am now one of the test group. I am using those to get in and out, using like badges. We completed our flooring out here in the main hallway and DSS, last month. The sewer pump stations, we just approved a purchase order to Fort Miller, which should be our last major component, once those arrive. So, we just have to figure out how we’re now going to construct both of those sewer pump stations we bought. We bid it twice, no bidders, bid it once for materials only, again, not bidders and since have procured things. We’ve got stair treads over at DSS that’s part of this year’s budget. Those drawings are prepared, we’re getting ready to put that out to bid. Electric subpanels, Hugh is working with our staff on specifically those materials. Our guys are going to do that themselves. He’s already, Hugh has already started procuring some of the materials for the DSS boiler manifold, again, our guys are planning to do that themselves. Courthouse, we just talked about that pump station. We’re replacing the main buses for communications on all the HVAC. Hugh is in the process of that for specifications. Public Health, we’ve got a set of exterior stairs that we’ve got to do some concrete work on. We are just getting started on those drawings and specs now.

The Public Safety Building; at some point in the near future, I’ll have Todd and Hugh, here, again, to give you an update on the overall capital reserve project that we had talked about. Taking some money from fund balance and then programming it in for roughly a 5-year replacement project from boilers to roof to rooftop units to even the sewer system. Again, the sewage pump station, up there, we did some work on the screening area, those materials have been received, we just have to find a little bit of time for Todd to work with our Buildings and Grounds staff to get it installed. Crack sealing and asphalt sealing in the parking lot, that was budgeted last year. We awarded it and then that contractor would not return any phone calls and we were not very good information from their references, so I will be bringing a request next month to move that money from last year forward to still try and rebid it and do that work. The walk in cooler at the Public Safety Building, we’re preparing specs for that and Andrew already gave you a bit of an update on any of renovations to the former State Police area for Probation and then we’ve got two more mini-splits in this year’s budget. I think Hugh’s got those specs just about done, ready to put out to bid. Mental Health; I have a couple of projects to add there that were in the 2024 budget that weren’t originally carried in my budget, but have been moved over and that is replacing some windows on the front of the building and put a handicapped operator on the front. Got the specs for the handicapped operator already done and Andrew is working on specs for my windows. The Fish Hatchery; we’re waiting for answers to our FOIL request regarding the Fish Hatchery and we will, we’re getting some pricing from consultants on all the bridge repairs and the road repairs that were part of it. One the fairgrounds, I’ve pretty much given you an update on all of those. Community Resources; put some cubicles in there and we’ve got some trim work left for Buildings and Grounds to do, which we think will be completed this month.


TYLER: That’s good


DOUGAN: I think it worked out better for them. We’ve still got some trim work to finish up that. Old Jail demo, Andrew has already given  you an update. So, some of these updates will be a little cleaner in the future. We’re used to having 2-3 different committee meetings and now that we have combined them into one, hopefully I won’t duplicate things.


DOTY: The new walk-in cooler, is that a replacement or a new addition?


DOUGAN: It’s existing, it’s one in the kitchen facility that the jail uses.


DOTY: Just the refrigerant?


DOUGAN: It’s just the condenser and the evaporator? Just the mechanical.


DOTY: Okay, so you’re not putting in a whole new walk-in.


DOUGAN: No, just the replacement of the condenser and evaporator.


WINEMILLER: How is your new hire for the fairgrounds, the maintenance person working?


DOUGAN: It’s been working out, it’s a little slow this time of year over there. He will be a lot busier when he’s actually working on the grounds. So, he’s been doing more, like I said, helping move boxes, he’s been taking on the minor repairs on the inside of the nutrition building, relieving the guys from over here from having to do that, which is good. Then we purchased some rough sawed lumber in the fall of last year, so he can cut that and start making some replacement pickets, so he’s been doing that.


WINEMILLER: And my second question was on the digital sign. Was that through State Contract or go to bid or how did you?


DOUGAN: It’s just in the budget right now. We did receive some pricing about a year or so ago.  We got some pricing from some suppliers, so they provided a price, to at least base our budget on. We have a drawing already and we need to make those specs a little bit better, but first I’ve got to get a permit.


WINEMILLER: Is there such a thing as State contract for digital signs?


DOUGAN: I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s a good question. I can see if Linda Wolf can help us on that.


WINEMILLER: I would be interested. I know our fire department is looking to replace theirs and the quotes that we’ve gotten are quite high.


DOUGAN: Okay, that’s a good idea.


REUSSER: I would be interested, Noel had ordered 4, I have to contact the company that contacted me, but I don’t know anything about it.


DOUGAN: Digital signs? Four of them?




DOUGAN: Did he order one for the fairgrounds?


REUSSER: Before we have a conversation, I want to know what my obligations are.


DOUGAN: Yeah, if we do have to bid it, we can put a few of them together and make them different lots.


REUSSER: I don’t know what his intention for them were, maybe Water Street, but beyond that I don’t know what.




WINEMILLER: I have one other question and it’s for Mike, about the desks. You said there is no one for state contact for desks?


MASCARENAS: I’ve got Donna looking this morning. Our normal vendor, HON, hasn’t been awarded. So, anything, I think that ran out at year’s end is slow to be renewed. It’s not that they don’t want to. I mean you can still go to bid, you can do all of that, but there’s time, that becomes an issue when you do that, too.


WINEMILLER: Well, we just recently did a huge remodel project at the town hall and that included new desks, because people were literally using desks from the 1950s and we actually got quotes from other companies, we ended up going with Bed, Bath and Beyond online, because they were a 1/3rd, a 1/3rd of the price.


MASCARENAS: I think Omni is a company that I have heard of, that might have contract right now with the State, so we can absolutely go out. We can get quotes on all those things and identify what needs to happen, the issue is planning out that space and having specifications. Typically, when you have a state contract vendor, they will come in and measure all the rooms, they know exactly what they order and then you kind of put that on them, so if there’s an issue with the order,  you then are about to get some of the refunded or corrected, because when you take that on yourself and it comes wrong, they don’t tend to want to talk to you about that. So, there is some issues with that, for sure, but, hopefully we’ll have that resolved. Donna was looking just as I left to try and find some other state vendors.


WINEMILLER: We ended up just saving a lot of money.


MASCARENAS: Yeah, yeah.


MCNALLY: Anything else?


STANLEY, MATT: Jim, I did want to thank you for sending over a couple of guys, looking at our heating problem in the community center. They helped me understand a lot of stuff and found out that sometimes weren’t actually turned back on, like they should have been. So, it helps my understanding, so it’s working better than ever.


DOUGAN: I will pass that along, thank you. Hugh, will pass that along. Hugh, directed them, he knew a little bit about your system.


STANLEY, MATT: Thank you


HARWOOD: Of course.


MCNALLY: Anything else? I just want to comment. That fairgrounds is way underutilized. ROOST, has $3 million a year. We need to promote that fairgrounds, if you’re going to continue to spend money on it. Having dog training 5-days, the fair and Ag, one farmers thing is not enough. We’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on that every year, painting things and everything and it’s not getting utilized. So, maybe Ike can come up some events or something. It’s a nice facility, it should be used, we’re not using it. My pavilions in my town are used more than that. So, I don’t know if we’re not promoting it, we’re too exclusive on who can use it or what the deal is, but Westport in the summertime, that thing should have an event there weekly or bi-weekly or something in the summertime. That’s just my feeling on it.


TYLER: I can’t believe that I am going to say that I agree with you.


MCNALLY: It’s just we’re spending, I mean look at the money.


TYLER: We all agree. We’ve been talking about this.


MCNALLY: The money we spent on Floral Hall and now this new building and all of that and it has no events there and we give money for promotion to ROOST. We can’t come up with something? I know that I had a conversation with Jim McKenna and you know, something, we don’t even have the campground, anymore. Warren County rents out their fairgrounds, which we could rent out a section of our fairgrounds for clamping or something. Warren County’s facility is Adirondack Safari, check it out, online. It does very, very well. There’s got to be something that we can do with that fairgrounds, my god, we’re spending a lot of money and not getting anything out of it, 2-events a year.


DOTY: We had initiated talks well over a year ago with the gal that was in charge of fairgrounds to consider music events. Some kind of schedule, so it’s not like we haven’t breeched different ideas. It’s a matter of who’s going to be in charge and take the bull by the horns.


MCNALLY: Right, something has to happen, my feeling, if we’re going to continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, down there, we have to do something with it.


MASCARENAS: Our rates certainly aren’t an issue. We don’t charge much and most people, if they come to the Board, we’ll waive the fee, even, depending on what the event is and what they’re going to do. So, I’m not sure, music is a little hard in Westport, because they also have Ballard Park, where they’re doing those weekly concerts, all summer long, so you might get overloaded in that area in terms of doing that.


TYLER: The key is to find somebody to do that.

The Hub on the Hill is moving to the old brewery in Westport, up by the campground. So, that’s going to have a lot more population to that area. They’re planning on having 15-20 workers there at some point. A commercial kitchen in there, too. So, I don’t know, I think that campsite could be used a lot more up there, also.


MCNALLY: Even a large car show or something.


MASCARENAS: That happened, twice. Biker rallies have happened twice, but they got kind of bad weather. Some of that stuff is bad luck. We have had some of those  things.


TYLER: The key is to find someone to do that, because, you’re right, Steve, that could be utilized a lot more than it is, but it’s not. We don’t have anybody on the County payroll that’s promoting that.


MCNALLY: But, we do give ROOST a hunk of money to come up with something.


TYLER: We do.


MASCARENAS: I feel like the most under-utilized area is the infield and I have said that for years, and years, and years, running the Youth Bureau. You could bring sporting events there, you could bring youth activities there. The issue is, it’s hard to maintain that infield and have it be playable for different activities, field space is a big issue countywide.


TYLER: I was coaching the modified baseball team there and I told the superintendent, no, we can’t practice there. We were finding metal objects.


MASCARENAS: That’s the issue, some of that in terms of the field space is really working with the Ag Society and controlling that demo is where we’re getting a lot of that metal, glass, those types of things. I think that would help a lot, it’s low cost events that would bring in a lot of people to Town of Westport. It has happened before, it was successful.


TYLER: If you look online, there’s events that you don’t think. Like a medieval days festival that could come for two days or even re-enactments.


DOTY: I may have more input in the following months, but it could be the end of the summer, as North Elba’s undertaking a master plan study of all of our park district properties, the playing fields, the showgrounds, everywhere, because we all feel what we have is underutilized and I know that some of you will laugh at me, at that with everything that we have going on in North Elba, but we still have lots of vacant time with facilities that are much like down here. They’re sitting there waiting for some use. So, I will be glad to be more involved.

So many big event now are under financial strain. It’s easy to look and think that everything is total success, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.


MCNALLY: Okay, anything else? If not, we are adjourned.   






Respectively Submitted,




Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors