By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Monticello is moving ahead with an up-to-$3 million overhaul of the village’s municipal complex.
Minus an absent TC Hutchins, the board last Tuesday unanimously agreed to proceed to the final design phase.
A public hearing that preceded the vote didn’t feature any opposition, likely because in addition to fixing persistent space and leakage problems in the village hall, the project will replace the mostly vacant old court building with a new youth center.
The courthouse will be demolished and a steel structure erected in its place, housing a regulation-size basketball court, rec offices and locker rooms.
Meanwhile, the 50-year-old village hall will be renovated with new windows, mechanical and electrical equipment, and insulation.
Village Engineer John Fuller estimated Monticello will see “at least a 35 percent [energy] cost savings right from the get-go.”
Village Manager John LiGreci translated that into a $130,000-$140,000 annual savings.
A two-story addition attached to the rear of the complex will provide a two-bay garage and storage space for the highway department, allowing the police department to expand into the old firehouse which in turn will permit village government offices to expand into part of the current police headquarters.
The existing parking lot will be leveled off and redone, with room for about 50 cars, said LiGreci.
Jefferson Street redo
Plans are also under way to beautify Jefferson Street, the main entry into the village from Route 17’s Exit 104 and the tourist-heavy racino.
The work, however, will also solve practical issues.
“There is a lot of broken pavement, trip hazards and problems with stormwater drainage,” explained Barton and Loguidice architect Ted Kolankowski.
Though plans (and costs) are not firmly set yet, Kolankowski envisioned adding streetlights and sidewalks to the road. The sidewalks would line both sides of Jefferson from the Broadway intersection to Sturgis Road, then continue as one sidewalk on the street’s western side all the way to Route 17B.
Mayor Gordon Jenkins endorsed the idea but faulted the plans themselves for taking a “Band-Aid approach,” whereby trees and grass would be planted along the sidewalks but the buildings next to the street would remain untouched some of them in desperate need of repair and improvement.
Jenkins urged Kolankowski and Sullivan Renaissance’s Helen Budrock to seek out grants for these structures’ property owners, to be used to beautify their facades and clean up their grounds.
Money to decorate
Trustee Carmen Rue was elated to announce that every single decorative light pole along Broadway 64 in all, just installed last month has a sponsor paying for its decoration.
She initiated a $25-a-pole donation drive which would pay for the poles’ holiday decorations, and within days, the entire street was paid for from private contributions.
The public’s input will be sought on several items at the next village board meeting on Tuesday, December 20 at 7 p.m. at the village hall:
• A proposal to limit the village’s tow list to companies within a 3.75-mile radius of Monticello’s boundaries.
• A proposal to establish a police commission.
• A proposal to regulate medical transports in the village (possibly to be delayed, though board discussion is likely).