By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Broadway’s completion is nearing in Monticello, and the village plans to celebrate with an official ribboncutting on August 21.
Ironically, the downtown thoroughfare of the county seat will be closed for some of that Sunday, in order to accommodate not just the 1 p.m. ribboncut but a farmers’ market starting at noon and a 6 p.m. concert in front of the County Courthouse.
Village hall overhaul
The next big project for the village could be the rehab of its municipal headquarters at the corner of Broadway and Pleasant Street.
At Wednesday’s regular village board meeting, village engineer John Fuller presented sketches of a hall reworked to provide more space for the police and for meetings, plus rehabilitate the interior and exterior of the half-century-old hall and newer additions.
While a modern hall could be constructed from scratch for close to $20 million, Fuller said the existing building is structurally sound and could be renovated and made far more energy-efficient for around $2 million.
While there are asbestos and underground tanks to deal with, Fuller said the work would triple the amount of room the police department currently has.
The board is also considering purchasing an adjacent acre for future expansions, including a pole barn.
Initially suggested by Fuller to house public works equipment that would have to be moved to create more meeting space, the barn may be modified to hold a youth center.
“I’m talking about something maybe with an indoor track,” envisioned Deputy Mayor TC Hutchins.
The barn was considered more doable and less expensive than adding on to the existing municipal complex.
Indeed, Deputy Village Manager John LiGreci estimated that the tax impact would be negligible, as financing the work would account for less than one percent of the village’s budget at most.
Fuller is expected to return to the next village board meeting set for Tuesday, July 19 at 7 p.m. to discuss the plans further.
Rec areas moved
The existing basketball court and skate park in the village’s municipal lot near the county Government Center have been moved to Dillon Park.
The underlying parking lots will be repaved and opened to cars, and a new street will connect Broadway directly to the lots, which are now accessed off North St.
Trustee James Matthews worried about the distance players and skaters would now have to travel, but LiGreci said the new location has drawn large crowds and has enabled better security.
Money for roads
Minus absent Mayor Gordon Jenkins, the board unanimously approved transferring $83,339.30 from the sanitation fund’s surplus to the highway fund to pave more village streets.
Lighting bids rejected
The board unanimously rejected two bids to wire the decorative lights coming to Broadway.
At $76,000 and $80,000, the bids were far higher than the village anticipated, and the village hopes to rebid the project shortly.
The lights themselves have already been purchased by Sullivan Renaissance, and the bases installed by the state. The village is responsible for wiring and maintaining them.
Labor counsel hired
The board also unanimously agreed to hire the law firm of Feerick, Lynch and MacCartney to aid with labor negotiations and issues.
The South Nyack firm will be paid $175 an hour.