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The Telegram
  • Frankfort Town Council awards contracts for town hall project

  • The Frankfort Town Council awarded contracts totaling $1.4 million for the new town hall project during a special meeting Wednesday evening.

    Plans call for making improvements to the building at 201 Third Ave., to serve as the new town hall.

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  • The Frankfort Town Council awarded contracts totaling $1.4 million for the new town hall project during a special meeting Wednesday evening.
    Plans call for making improvements to the building at 201 Third Ave., to serve as the new town hall.
    Contracts were awarded as follows:
     • General construction – Putrelo Building Enterprises, Inc., New Hartford, $879,100;
    • Electrical – S.C. Spencer Electric, Inc., Constableville, $187,000;
    • Mechanical – H.J. Brandeles Corporation, Utica, $254,000; and
    • Plumbing – Schmalz Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Utica, $115,300.
    Councilman John Wallace, who presented the proposed contracts for approval, said they had been reviewed by Town Attorney Robert Applegate, who found they met all legal requirements, and by Nick DeSantis, of O’Brien & Gere, the engineering firm the town retained to assist with the project, who reviewed the low bids and the firms that submitted them and found them acceptable.
    The vote to award the contracts was 4-1 with Supervisor Joseph Kinney casting the lone negative vote. Councilman Joseph Tamburro was absent from the meeting.
    Wallace said the town’s contract with O’Brien & Gere extended only through the bidding process and suggested the council set aside an amount of money to cover any costs if the town has to contact the engineers before the project moves into the next phase.
    Kinney countered by saying the firm should submit a proposal including the scope of services for any duties leading up to the contract administration and inspection phase of the project.
    Wallace agreed.
    Kinney said in a telephone interview Thursday the town will bond for the necessary funds and the engineers are looking at a seven-month construction period to convert the building, which was formerly a Catholic school, a Naval Reserve Center and a private call center, to a town hall.
    Plans include installing a new roof, new windows and central air conditioning.
    The town council has not yet decided what will be done with the existing town hall at 140 S. Litchfield St.
    Kinney said he voted against approving the contracts because of the cost of the project.
    “I’ve was opposed to the acquisition of the building three years ago and I’m opposed to the construction plan,” he said. “I think it’s too excessive and too costly. It will probably translate into a 10 to 15 percent tax increase and the taxpayers can’t afford it.”
    As for the proposed design improvements, he said, “We’re changing the building to suit our wants; we should change our wants to fit the building.”
    He described the project as nearly a nearly total demolition and reconstruction of the facility’s layout. He also questioned the need for a new roof at this time and especially the need for central air conditioning. Kinney said the town has already spent money on initial work, including removing asbestos from the building. He said a new phone system, engineering changes, bonding costs, inspection and contract administration could easily add another $300,000 to the cost.
    Page 2 of 2 - The present town hall was built in 1926. Wallace said at an earlier meeting there are problems with water in the basement, deterioration and lack of handicapped access. He said renovating the present building would cost more than the current total estimated cost for the new building.

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