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Newfane’s Town Offices.

Town and Village

Town Offices report reviewed, meetings set

NEWFANE—The Selectboard had its first chance to review the report on the Town Office building at the March 21 regular Selectboard meeting.

Planning Commissioner Doris Knechtel presented some details on the report Cotton Design prepared on two proposals: fix the existing Town Office building, or sell it and construct a new one.

Because of continuing issues with the building ― including a lack of space and privacy, concerns with heat and air quality, and structural problems. The Selectboard decided last year to hire the design firm to perform a complete examination, and issue options on what to do.

Cotton Design’s report included the construction needs and current projected costs of both proposals, how each would affect the town’s grand list, and the effect on property taxes should the town use bonds to pay for the work.

Knechtel noted the report found the flood levels are acceptable for the current building and the parcel of land where the proposed Town Offices would go, but only if the new building were built on a slab foundation.

Cotton Design’s report, Knechtel said, “is more detailed than ‘oh, I need more room.’"

“We need to look at this as something for the future, not who’s working here right now,” she said, adding that questions such as how much space do town officers such as the listers, the treasurer, the town clerk, and the zoning administrator need to do their jobs should be asked. She also mentioned the town vault is running out of room.

Board member Gary Delius advocated for selling the Town Offices and building a new one, explaining, “we’re spending a lot of money patching a building that still isn’t going to be exactly what the town needs."

The public is invited to attend upcoming informational meetings on the project: May 3 at the Newbrook Fire Station, and May 17 in Williamsville.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #352 (Wednesday, April 13, 2016). This story appeared on page E1.

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