Work to start on Town Hall

C onstruction of Hampton’s Town Hall should begin within the next month, officials said during last Wednesday’s monthly board meeting.

A 30-day permissive referendum during which residents could voice objections to the plan ended Friday and Supervisor Dave O’Brien met with contractors on Monday evening to sign and finalize contracts.

He said work on the new building is expected to begin the week of the Washington County Fair (Aug. 19-25) and should be complete by early November.

“Hopefully by the second or third week of October we will have the building far enough along so that the town clerk can move in and we can get all the records in the basement,” O’Brien said. “Our goal is to have it completely finished in time for the elections.”

Officials plan to use volunteer labor to control expenses. The total cost of building the Town Hall been estimated at $89,000, which includes a cushion for unexpected expenses that may arise.

Officials have pledged not to raise taxes or borrow any money to complete the work and instead will use sales tax receipts from Washington County that have been collected over the last seven years.

“It’s going to be an enormous undertaking but if we did it entirely through contractors the cost would be $225,000 and hopefully we’ll be able to do it for less than $80,000,” O’Brien said.

The town will realize a significant savings on the roof. Camara Slate Co. has agreed to donate the materials for a slate roof and Joe Taran has volunteered to coordinate the labor to install it. The cost the town was quoted for materials was decreased by $1,300 as well.

Before construction can begin, the existing structure will need to be removed. O’Brien said it should cost between $1,200 and $1,300 to have the old building taken down and removed. They put the building out to bid but found no takers.

A trailer, similar to ones used on larger construction sites, will serve as a temporary town office while a new building is constructed.

The foundation of the new building will be poured the week of the fair and the surrounding area will be back-filled the following week.

It’s projected the exterior of the building will be framed in early September and the rest of the work — plumbing, electric, roof, interior — will follow accordingly.

The town board voted to construct a new Town Hall earlier this year, and after extensive research to determine what it should comprise, the project went to bid in May and then before a public hearing last month.

The new building is supposed to address many of the problems—age, climate control, space — that plague the old one.

The new structure will be a one-story building with basement, 28 feet wide and 52 long. It would contain space for three to four offices and feature a 27-by-28 foot meeting room.

In other matters, Jeff Murphy, head of the Washington County Sheriff’s office spoke with town officials regarding his goal to improve communication between the public, town board and sheriff’s department.

Murphy will assign a member of his office to serve as a liaison to each of the 17 communities in Washington County to address concerns local people may have.

O’Brien asked if it would be possible to address the number of motorists who speed on Routes 4 and 22.

Murphy said they can bring in a speed trailer, which collects data his staff can use to determine how they can most efficiently assign patrols.

Dan Stec, Queensbury supervisor and chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, also attended the meeting.

Stec is running for New York State Assembly and is visiting communities in the county to better understand the issues each is facing.

He applauded the town’s plans to build a new Town Hall without burdening taxpayers.

The town is accepting applications for a dog control officer. Dave Gosselin, who had filled the position for the last few months, died earlier this month.

The next meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 15.

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