Buildings and Facilities Task Force

Monday, May 6, 2024 - 9:00 am



Steve McNally - Chairman


Supervisor McNally called this task force to order at 9:32 am with the following in attendance: Chris Clark, Robin DeLoria, Jim Monty, Meg Wood, Mark Wright, Cathleen Reusser, James Monty, Matt Stanley, and Jim Dougan. Steve McNally, Derek Doty, Davina Thurston and Ken Hughes were excused.


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


TYLER: Go ahead, Jim.


DOUGAN: Weíll start with Andrew.


STANLEY, A: So, like Jim was saying, thereís a public hearing at 9:30, so Iím just going to buzz through mine, real quick. Todd, and Hugh, have got some stuff that they got to cover on the Public Safety and Fish Hatchery.

Ag and Youth Building; we received a letter of conditions, everything is signed and sent back. So, the only thing outstanding there is we have some technical documents that need to be submitted, drawings, project manual specs, and a few other insurance related documents that are currently being worked on and should be send out pretty soon and then once RD has that stuff, weíll be able to bid the project, get approval to bid the project.


TYLER: Got an ETA on that?


STANLEY, A: On the bid?




STANLEY, A: Weíre hoping probably, if we have everything in the next few weeks, I would say by the end of the month, or sometime in early June.


TYLER: Perfect


DOUGAN: I think we should be advertising by early June and get stuff, hopefully, accept bids before the end of June and award it in July and get our contractors set up, soon after the fair.


TYLER: Hopefully, that allows them some fall work.


STANLEY, A: Yeah, get it buttoned up before winter.


DOUGAN: Weíre expecting the construction drawings back to us within the next couple of weeks. Weíve sent quite a few comments back.


LEE: Are you guys going to talk about the fairgrounds, at all? Is that on your agenda, at all, because I have one quick thing?


DOUGAN: Weíre going to have a little bit on the fairgrounds.


LEE: Okay, I wasnít sure if you were going from that site to another.


STANLEY, A: And then just one more thing that I didnít have on the slide, but we are going to have to schedule a public information meeting for the Ag and Youth building.


DOUGAN: Yeah, itís not a public hearing, itís just a public information meeting. So, weíll be setting something up toward the end of this month.


STANLEY, A: Old Jail Demo; Board of Elections and Probation have completed their move to the Public Safety Building and carpet was installed for Probation, cubicles were completed. Theyíre all moved in there. The individual that who is taking the pod, actually theyíre out there, working on it right now, his goal is by the end of May, beginning of June to have that out of here, out of our way and with that being gone and Probation out of the building, we can now start to move some of the utilities that we had to kind of leave in place while the buildings were operational, but that should start to move pretty quick once that pods out of the way.

Frontier Town, Restore New York; I met with APA on the 23rd of April and they did determine that there is one area that has active wetlands, near the gristmill and I am currently working on permit, so then we can proceed with the work down there. Itís just a small section. The blue, thatís roughly the area, so itís just that one section.


DOUGAN: Why donít you describe the red versus the black on your list.


STANLEY, A: So, the red is the areas that were submitted with the Restore New York for construction of revitalization, and on the right hand side, the red there, we determined what buildings have hazardous materials and which ones donít. So, a good portion of those are going to have to be abated. Most of the ones that are going to have to be abated are falling down, dilapidated, so itís more of less having an abatement company come in and fill dumpsters.


DOUGAN: All of what was formally known as Main Street has been determined to, itís not structurally sound to abate anything, so youíve got to remove all of it, every bit of material, as asbestos.


DELORIA: Whatís the lead?


DOUGAN: Thereís some lead paint, but itís mostly the asbestos thatís our concern. Generally with lead, youíve have to, if a relatively small concentrations, which is really here, you just need to make the constructor aware of it, in this situation.


STANLEY, A: And most of the stuff with the lead, you know, we did the lead thinking that some of the structures that are sound, weíre probably going to just paint, freshen them up, thereís really nothing wrong with them. I donít know if itís the case that weíre going to have to scrap, so, which thatís not the case with any of those, I donít believe thereís any lead in the ones that weíre thinking about.


DELORIA: Are you going to paint over the lead paint?


STANLEY, A: Itís not going to be an issue with the ones that we plan on just freshening up. Thereís no lead present. Itís all the ones that are going to be abated anyways. So, it shouldnít be an issue at all. Another thing to touch on there, too, as part of our match, we did a little bit of work on the driveway off of the Frontier Town Road, with the paving crew. Kind of doubled down on some training, also, with the paver out there to pave with the gravel, fix that road all up, looks a lot better going in and out of there now. Got rid of some of the trees, looks real good.


DOUGAN: We had to do the training, anyhow, so Iím going to turn it in as match to the grant.


STANLEY, A: And Fairgrounds; we had a meeting down there, in regards to the Main Stage and weíre going to look at some options and expanding the roof there, to go over the top of the stage, a little more cover and hopefully we see some back from them.


DOUGAN: Yeah, we had a request from the Ag Society, based on some events that they have planned for this yearís fair to see if we can expand that roof over top of the stage. So, we at least met with our term contract architect, whoís going to give us a proposal. He looked at already, thought that the foundation was solid enough to build off of, so thatís a good thing and we talked about doing, at least on site, was to take some money, budgeted, for over there, this year for like the sign and like maybe put into this instead. So, thatís, weíre going to see what the numbers are and then Iíll bring some of that back to the committee and the Board, but weíre trying to move quickly to potentially get that done for this yearís event.


STANLEY, A: Jim, do you want me to let everybody know about the job fair?


PAGE: I just had a question, does this need to go through historic review?


DOUGAN: Iíve got to look and see if the stage, itself is on the historical or not. There was some discussion when we were onsite by some of the Ag Society members that they didnít think the stage was, but weíll have to look, yup, absolutely.


LEE: Sorry, I donít know when, I donít have an agenda or anything, it is something about the fairgrounds and I think this is where it belongs, so Cooperative Extension is going to buy a bunch picnic tables for the Adirondack Harvest Festival, we need some more and we contacted, Jim, about possibly storing them at the fairgrounds and they would be available, they will be labeled as CCE, belongs to CCE, but weíre responsible for taking care of them, but they will be available for anybody that is using the facility and we will work with Jim for storing, keeping them undercover over the winter, that type of thing. We will probably buy 10-12 more.


DOUGAN: Yeah, thatís great, thank you. I just wanted to make sure that Elizabeth, let the committee and stuff know that she is going to move forward with some of that. Itís a nice partnership to have them available for everything.


LEE: I donít know if you have an idea of where they would go, but weíll figure that out, after the event. I donít know when, weíll probably order them pretty soon, so weíll need someplace to put them before the event. I donít know if theyíll be ready before the Fair or not. I am going to go to the Fair Board meeting, tonight and just let them know, also, but it would be great to have them secured when theyíre not in use and theyíre heavy, so I donít know exactly how.


DELORIA: Are they wood?


LEE: Yes


DELORIA: I am just going to throw this out there, we priced these tables from Home Depot that are the size of a typical picnic table, but youíve got the aluminum and you can walk through, thereís no stepping over, so somebody whoís got a dress and can through and they were cheaper than it would cost us to build them.




DELORIA: I kid you not and they fold, so theyíre easier to store.


LEE: Yeah, Iíll have them look.


DELORIA: Picnic tables are heavy and sometimes it takes two men, if theyíre strong, maybe four. You know, itís just hard to store.


LEE: Yeah, I think they were looking at different ones and Iíll mention that, for sure. They were also looking at options for benches instead of attached things.


DELORIA: I think what we liked most about them is the typical picnic table, you have to step over it to sit down and these are a literally walk through and theyíre solid. I will send you a picture.


REUSSER: Mountain Lakes Services, Essex Industries has a good deal.


LEE: Yeah, Iíll pass that along, thank you. I am going to go ahead and make a note of those, Mountain Lakes and the metal ones, thank you, thatís all.


DOUGAN: The only event we really got in the month of May for the fairgrounds is the job fair. Essex County is hosting it, CVTech is kind of leading, putting this together. So, itís sounding to be pretty good sized. So, that is a draft of the flyer. Iíll be getting the final out to all the Supervisors for you guys to have to advertise, if you want. But, itís a pretty good sized event, quite a few schools are attending with their students, already and weíre around 40 different employers that are planning to present.


LEE: You said thatís the only event, but Environmental Field Days is there.


DOUGAN: I have to look. I didnít have it on the calendar.


LEE: I think, Iíll double check, because thatís with Soil and Water.


DOUGAN: Soil and Water, it probably is, but I just didnít have it on this a calendar, yet.


LEE: It doesnít have to be advertised, it goes through the schools directly, but I just wanted to make sure, when you said it was the only one, I was like wait a minute, there are about 400 kids going.




STANLEY, A: This is just our whiteboard slide. I just wanted to touch on a couple of projects that were completed as recently, the cubical project, down to Community Resource were finished. The handicapped operator at the front door, down at Mental Health was completed. We did the painting in Supreme Court. The parking lot, up to the Public Safety Building, it was seal coated cracks, we have somebody under contract and weíre working on scheduling that and then also the two mini-split units were completed.


DOUGAN: The Personnel carpet was bid and thatís under contract.


STANLEY, A: Yup, we have the materials here, itís just wanting on the stair treads in DSS and trying to schedule them all in one shot and get that done on a weekend.


HARDWOOD: Update on the Public Safety Building and a little bit of history on that. We started pretty much with the heat exchanger and it need to be replaced for a rooftop unit, $15,800.00, ever since then, that was a lot of layers to the onion. Started peeling it back, the rooftop units were getting close to the end of their life, boilers were kind of hurting, and then kind of the buck stopped with the controls. The controls were a big cost, right now, proprietary, so a lot of those things kind of underdeveloped, so we need to address a lot of those. There was an investigation done in 2016, the Danforth Study, right here. This study was done before Nutrition, so on here, the Public Safety Building is our newest building, other than Nutrition, but it actually has the highest thermal load, demand for our entire, all facilities. Of course, itís the largest, but it is the most newest, itís got the best boilers, control systems, so that is a little bit of concern, so also weíre looking into that, as well. Pretty much with the current investigation, like I said with the boilers, right now weíre going to look into the boiler redesign. So, weíre looking at redoing the manifold and header, but another thing is, also then eventually to replace them. The other ones are pretty much the controls replacement, trying to get away from the propriety system, so we can actually use it. The system up there is good, right now, itís pretty solid, we just have no access. Weíre not allow into it and also, itís pretty big, hefty, annual cost to be able to maintain that and then finally the domestic hot water. Weíll reuse those, kind of again, with the boiler, header resign, but again those are oversized.


DOUGAN: Can I just step back, because not everybody that is in the Facilities Committee, here, has been here for the other couple of updates. So, if there is any new supervisors, we identified that there is a number of, that the Public Safety Building came online in 2007. So, we are, some of our assets are getting to the end of their useful life and we are identifying that and there is some pretty big need, okay? Part of it started out with just the desire to replace one rooftop unit and go through a path where we replace one or two a year and try and have more consistent budgeting and so there are a number of projects that were kind of listed, rooftops, heating system and then the roof, itself and then the whole septic system. So, a lot of things got brought into this. So, this an update that Todd and Hugh have been running that. So, anybody who hasnít been through, we talked about this, probably 6-months ago, 8-months ago and again maybe 6-8 months from there, as weíre preparing the study to do some of these things.


HARWOOD: And if there are any questions for these two first slides, I am trying to skip, real quick through it, just stop me if you have any questions.

Just pretty much the main problems that weíre trying to solve, the biggest thing that I can say, is the theme, oversized, original design. Everything up there is oversized, my biggest thing that I can see, is the electrical switch gear, they actually have, what it appears to be, a whole spare set of breakers to add an additional pod. So, thereís A, B, and C pod, right now, it would allow that to expand. So, there was thoughts to actually expand. Like one thing with the boilers, there are three boilers, one boiler can run that entire facility on the coldest day in the winter. So, -10, -20 out and it is purring, itís perfect. We have three of them, so thatís kind of what youíre seeing here. A lot of this is, this is the spikes of the BTU supply. Itís going from 80,000 to 800,000, so thatís a magnitude of 10 and thatís doing it within 20minutes. So, these boilers are ramping why up and then theyíre finally getting to temp and then theyíre just shutting down. So, of course thereís a lot of expansion, contraction, not good for the boilers.

Other things, like the said, domestic hot water, they actually have two hot water tanks, domestic hot water tanks that the boilers are 2 million BTU, these domestic hot water tanks, theyíre 1.25, so theyíre almost the same size asthe boilers and theyíre only servicing the 40-80 inmates, theyíre only servicing the showers and thatís all those two units are doing. So, weíre going to hopefully try to reuse them and of course the last one is the propriety system. But, I canít emphasize this enough, itís just way over designed. Itís just, I donít know what they were thinking what they first did it, but itís a lot of what weíre trying to address.


DOUGAN: Some of you guysÖ


MONTY: Somebody made a boat load of money.


DOUGAN: Some of you guys have heard me say, not that long ago, we passed a resolution to replace a heat exchanger for the boiler and I told you then and Iíll remind you again, weíve replaced 7 of these in those boilers since this came online. Thatís because this boiler is think a drag racer, because it just hammers it just as hard as it can and then it slams shut and thatís what that theyíre showing you on that graph. The last heat exchanger, itself, was $43,000.00 and just because of this over design problem. Did I steal your thunder from some other spot, Hugh? I am sorry if I did.


HARWOOD: Nope, youíre good, I could ramble on.


HODGSON: So, this project is not a maintenance project, which otherwise, probably should be. As you can see from the numbers here, these are updated since the study that we completed back in 2022-2023,so these are some updated costs that we received from that study, but these are in 2023 dollars. So, as you know these costs will go nothing but up, unfortunately. So, we will do our best to stay in control of the costs, but this is what we spent to date in 2022 and 2023, for this year, we are looking at doing some rework, some design in-house, roughly, $200,000.00 to help save those boilers from the rapid cycling. We hope to solve that problem, ourselves, so weíre demonstrating, in a sense the project that will ultimately take place in the replacement of the boilers and rooftop units that weíre successful in stopping that problem and that maintenance issue. So, we have two projects here, one is an actual physical construction and also to begin the design for rooftop replacement that would occur in 2025 and the boiler replacement in 2026. This is just a tentative schedule, trying to forecast the cost that we would incur. We are, this is bigger than DPWís budget to absorb those costs. We need some type of capital improvement budget and thatís what weíre here to kind of talk about and cast and also ask for some funds to be spent and just so you know, weíre not going to end here. In 2027, we have a roof replacement to take place, after our rooftop project, because that is also at its end of useful life. We have some electrical switch gear, which two years ago, I told by integrator, that resolved one of the issues that we were having at that time, that the PLC was out of date and you could not replace them. So, means, tomorrow, if that PLC gets wiped out, we are in for a very significant project, to be able to get that switch gear back up and running. To give you an idea, those of you that have water and wastewater treatment facilities, you have generator transfer switches that are on your water/wastewater treatment systems, they are very small compared to this one. This one here, ifyou go to do a manual transfer, that requires to be fully suited up with arc flash gear, long rubber gloves, visors, because when that gear flips, it arcs a lot, the room glows blue.


DOUGAN: Itís 1,200 amps.


HODGSON: So, if that arc, you know, catches a cabinet or catches you, youíre dead. So, itís definitely something that is something that is of a grave concern to us and then we have the sewage treatment system, which I want to say, 8 years ago, I think, I dealt with the first failure and I have tried to keep it going ever since, until such time as we can get to it.


HARWOOD: And this number here is pretty big, I mean what weíre doing up here, in í24 with this rework is actually allowing us, if we need to, we can kind of push that out. We can push that out, because weíre saving the boiler replacement. If we arenít doing that work here, weíre going to have to replace those boilers fairly soon, kind of put that in front. We donít like that in a design sense, because weíre kind of putting the cart before the horse. We need to kind of work on the rooftop units first, because then you actually truly know the demand the of the building, so we can right size the boilers. So, this little bit of work weíre doing here will kind of allow us to kind of move that.


DOUGAN: Are you giving them any more detail of what youíre doing, because youíre adding some energy recovery and stuff like that. Is that farther?


HODGSON: We have not really reviewed the piece, but because I made the statement, this is not a maintenance project, this is a redesign, one of the things and one of the reasons why the energy costs are so high in this building is because there is no energy recovery. That air gets exhausted outside, and then that has to be reheated, you know, pulling that back in. This is one of the newest buildings that Essex County owns, under more strict energy code then this building, here and yet, itís costing us more per square foot to heat then this brick building.


DOUGAN: I just want to disagree with Todd, about one thing and that itís time for maintenance, anyhow. What heís describing is a project that is capital in nature, but it is replacing maintenance. So, I think that that is important. We have to do some of the maintenance anyhow.


HARWOOD: Change in the design.


DOUGAN: But changing the design will hopefully pay for some of it, long term, by having some energy recovery.




STANLEY: So, you said thereís three boilers?




STANLEY: And one boiler can heat the whole building?


HARWOOD: Yes, on the coldest day.


STANLEY: So, is there a thought of doing like a slave-master, so thereís cycling. So, only one boiler is running at a time to not get those spikes?


HODGSON: We would love to do that, except for the controls weíre not allowed to mess with, because itís a propriety system. So, that has made this project very complicated, unfortunately, but, yes that would be the plan, so that we could stage those boilers.


DOUGAN: Exactly, put a boiler in thatís a little bit smaller, so it doesnít have to go 1,000 miles an hour, let it run, most of the time and then let the second one kick in on that coldest day of the year, absolutely. You know, make your heat exchanger last. Itís frustrating to look at the original design, when you bring in two guys that are as smart as these two, here, itís frustrating to look at that original design and realize what we got.


MASCARENAS: Todd, is there any opportunity to, I know youíve looked into a lot, get rid of the proprietary controls? Is that going to be part of this project, so weíre not handcuffed?


HODGSON: Yes, yes, so, we are beginning those steps, actually, right now, we had a little bit of a fumble on getting a contractor for some of the integration that we plan on doing this year, so that we know that we can pull the plug later. We donít want to pull the plug, yet, because we still need them, right now.




HODGSON: But, actually weíre hoping to divorce themselves.


STANLEY: So, the sooner that you can switch that, would you be able to utilize that method of utilizing the 3 boilers that you more efficiency?


HODGSON: Yes, yes, so one of the reasons why we are interested in doing a project here, I know that $200,000.00 is still a lot of money, but we are hoping to mitigate some of these issues and buy down the cost of 2025. This is a real number, but we may be able to effect that numberin what weíre able to accomplish here with the controls. We may be able to take the boilers, which arenít being replaced until down here, extent their life, of those existing boilers, the boilers also have their own onboard controls, you know, we arenít getting smarter these days, you know we have equipment thatís supposed to ramp up and down and maintain a certain amount of heat. You know this building, here is heated with a plain cast iron boiler that has been around for a long, long time (knock on wood), but it still runs, you know we havenít had to replace a heat exchanger or anything in it. You know, and thereís something to be said about robust technology and thatís what weíre looking to do, is dial this back into something that we can maintain and we can work on to buy this cost down. You know, this is expensive, because if you add up that column there, thatís a pretty hefty price tag, you know I am ready for Mike to say, no.


REUSSER: Is there, this isnít my committee, but I am doing this at the residential level, right now, so itís in my brain, heat pumps and geothermal andsolar, where are we in considering those types of options?


HODGSON: And so, thereís a time and place for them and absolutely we will get to that, when we talk about this here, at some point, this is kind of the latter phases of what we would consider. I donít know where things are going with EV and everything for Essex County. The switch gear is probably the largest energy service that the County owns. If you were going to put a large solar array and large charging capabilities, you would put it here, because you already have the electrical gear here to do it. It needs to be reworked. I think if this fell under a grant program, potentially, but we need to talk about that in a broader sense, because thatís a huge project.


DOUGAN: So, just to go back to the finances, so when this was talked about, 6-months and prior to that was the idea was that these are big capital projects that you might go to fund balance to fund some of these things, rather than carrying those kinds of numbers in a budget while still trying to keep it 2%. I know Mike has been working on some other things, some other legislation type things to help us with that. I donít know how much time we have to talk about that today.


HODGSON: If I could just go to that last slide, thereís 2-requests that I have for the Board to have a recommendation to go to the Full Board, which is, I need authorization for $467,732.00 for 2024. I would like to be able to spend that money to be able to buy down those other costs and to be able to work on a small project that leads us into something else. We need an action plan for some, that is fiscally responsible for the capital improvements that are before us. The other thing that guys should know is, with Executive Order 22, that the State passed, they are currently implementing a number of electric based projects to comply with this executive order. Iím not saying anything against solar or against electric, but understand this, we have to maintain these buildings. Itís very difficult, if we have to at some point comply with those requirements. Weíre next in line, after the State, goes the County, youíve said it many times before, we get to bear that responsibility, although we donít have the pockets that the State does. So, we have to find a way. I would much rather be energy efficient on in the improvements, because I donít think we can the large capital costs that are associated with this and I think this Board has a lot in front of it, as it applies to this item here. You will hear this again and in the North Country, we donít have the electric grid that the City of Syracuse has or the City of Rochester. We donít have any nuclear power plants in the Adirondack Park.


DOUGAN: We got to go, sorry. We could have used the full hour today.






Respectively Submitted,




Dina Garvey, Deputy Clerk

Board of Supervisors