C ould the Village of Whitehall follow the town into the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company?
The Mayor certainly thinks so.
“I think that we should have both of the offices in one place,” said Francis “Fra” Putorti during the Nov. 1 meeting of the board of trustees. “It makes sense to have everything together in one spot and consolidated.”
Putorti also floated out the idea of a potential buyer for the current building that houses the village offices on the corner of Saunders and North Williams Streets.
“What if I had someone who would buy this building at the cost of what it takes for us to move over to the firehouse,” asked Putorti. “I think that would be all that we would need to sell it for. If it costs us $25,000 to move, then lets sell this building for that and move.”
“We need to get a fair-market price on it,” said trustee Walter Sandford. “I don’t want to just give the building away.”
“You would have to get fair-market value or there could be legal issues,” said trustee Kenneth Bartholomew.
Bartholomew added that when the town board was previously looking for space, studies conducted on the firehouse showed that there was space for both entities.
“I’ve been down this road before and there is space for both of us there,” said Bartholomew.
Sandford added that if the village was also looking to move to the firehouse, then there should not be as much concern over the issue of if the property ownership should revert back to the village if the town were ever to leave the site.
“If we want to move over there, then this would just make sense,” said Sandford. “If we were both over there and they were to move out for some reason, then we would want the property to come back to us.”
“The clause is really easy to do and it won’t hurt them a bit,” said Bartholomew.
Putorti said that while it may be something that is not a major concern in the big picture, he wanted to make sure that nothing prevented the town from moving into the firehouse on the village’s end.
“I do not want this to be a stumbling block for the move,” said Putorti. “They need to move and I feel that this is the best place for them.”
Bartholomew agreed, but said that his concern was with future administrations.
“I trust this current board, and I believe that have the right intentions,” said Bartholomew. “But all those people could be gone in four years, and the next group may have the wrong intentions.”