Richmondville okays borrowing for office


By Jim Poole

After years of discussion, planning and saving up, Richmondville is moving towards a new town hall.
Councilmen Thursday approved borrowing $300,000 to build a new office on land the town owns on Podpadic Road.
The total price will be $420,000, including $120,000 Richmondville saved for the project.
The new hall will move town offices out of the cramped quarters in a Quonset hut, which is not handicapped-accessible, on Main Street in the village.
The process started about four years ago, when the town and village were trying to work out an arrangement to share office space, Supervisor Dick Lape told about 20 residents who came out for Thursday's public hearing.
Talks with the village didn't work out, and last fall Mr. Lape negotiated with the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad to rent a portion of its building, where the town already meets.
Town officials, however, concluded that the RVES building and property weren't large enough to accommodate town offices and the rescue squad.
The new office will be steel or concrete, all on one floor, and be 2,000 square feet.
The first payment on the loan, due July 1, 2017, will be $21,550, and annual payments will decrease afterwards over 30 years.
Mr. Lape said the loan won't affect taxpayers. Richmondville puts $15,000 to $20,000 into a building fund every year, and each year, $8,000 of that will go towards the loan.
The remainder of the $15,000 to $20,000 will be applied to the principal of the loan each year, Mr. Lape said.
Although most speakers at the public hearing agreed with the town's plan, a few didn't.
George Konta said that moving the office out of the village will be inconvenient because no one will be able to walk there.
He suggested the town move into one of the vacant buildings on Main Street.
Such a location would be near the village office, Bank of Richmondville and post office. The combination would generate more downtown traffic and maybe encourage more commercial development, Mr. Konta said.
Mr. Lape answered that Podpadic Road is roughly equidistant between the population centers of Richmondville and Warnerville, about in the geographic center of town.
Scott Bennett of RVES was "disappointed you didn't further explore using the rescue squad building."
The building could be reconfigured to fit town offices, and RVES could use the money the town would pay for rent, Mr. Bennett said.
And that option would probably be cheaper than $420,000, he added.
"There's more than enough space for the town," Mr. Bennett said. "We only have one ambulance. We don't need all this room."
The town board didn't waver and unanimously approved the loan resolution.