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The Telegram
  • Mohawk looking into elevator for municipal building

  • The Mohawk Village Board of Trustees conducted a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibility of installing an elevator at the municipal building.

    Village trustees spent the evening brainstorming with representatives from the Laberge Group to come up with a plan to meet the village’s goal.

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  • The Mohawk Village Board of Trustees conducted a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibility of installing an elevator at the municipal building.
    Village trustees spent the evening brainstorming with representatives from the Laberge Group to come up with a plan to meet the village’s goal.
    Deputy Mayor George Cryer said the village has been interested in putting an elevator in the building for several years. “About 10 years ago, our clerk Judy Bray started running out of space and she had to run all over the building to get to files. For a short period of time throughout the years we have hired people on and off to help file, but she still has to go up and down the stairs several times throughout the day to perform her daily tasks,” he said. “We would like to have it so the clerk could spend most of her time downstairs to greet people entering the building, but use an elevator if she needed to get to the second floor. In light of what happened with Kurt Myers we’re also concerned about safety.”
    Cryer also explained the building is not handicapped accessible and never has been.
    “An elevator could be useful and could come into play for those who are handicapped and have special needs,” he said.
    Laberge Group Managing Architect James Clarke said the village needs to put something together that is a lot more inclusive
    “Although there are many grant opportunities available you’re not going to find something that says ‘Here’s your grant.’ “It isn’t that simple and the village is going to have to consider making constructive adjustments to make room not only for the elevator, but for the elevator machinery and an elevator control room,” he said.
    The cost of an elevator and needed machinery should be under six figures, said Clarke.
    Cryer said the village has extra funds available, but they are tied up at the substation.
    “Several years ago our substation was put in a wetland category due a problem with the surrounding material around Route 5S and its ability to flood. In order for the insurance company to ensure the electrical power station there had to be a deductible of $500,000. This money was put away in our savings in case anything ever happened at the station. It is tying money up that could be used as a better means for taxpayers. I understand that the money is there for a reason, but no flooding has ever occurred,” he said.
    Cryer said the village expects to receive a letter from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency by the end of the year stating the substation is out of the wetland category. “If the status of the station changes to the category of dry land, we could use some of the money for things like an elevator and save the rest in the general fund, if it was needed,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Although the village is unsure where the elevator would go Clarke assured the trustees the building is in good shape and he would have no problem putting in an elevator as long as some rooms could be reallocated and structural needs met to comply with handicapped accessible emergency exits and restrooms.
    Cryer said things could be moved around, but the building is standing in its original condition and has never been updated. “Everything in this building is in place as it was since it was built. Even the windows are original,” he said.
    To save money Clarke suggested the village first look at energy saving costs such as conducting an energy survey and replacing the original windows.
    “It’s difficult to figure out where to start, but the most important thing is to start somewhere,” said Clarke. “As a starting point I would like to come up with a road map and think about what you want, write a proposal, assess the functional layout of the building and come up with an idea as to how to tackle the plan.”

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