Move of village offices, courts could take months

CourtMayor Pete Telisky has 18 months left to his term. In that time, his goal is to see the village offices and town and village court housed in the Whitehall Municipal Center.

Public and press anxiety has built recently, as the grand opening of village police in the municipal center has been pushed back, but Telisky counseled patience.

“It will take time because we are doing it internally, ourselves,” Telisky said, in an interview.

Sixty-thousand dollars in state grant money has been earmarked for housing of the town and village courts within one building, the former Skenesborough Fire House.

Mayor Telisky said that the principal builder is James Austin, an employee of both town and village, assisted by Shan Beebe, an employee of the village’s Department of Public Works.

The town and village courts are currently located above the village offices and have several issues, including a lack of handicap accessibility.

The mayor was asked about the question of handicap access to village and town court.

“We are grandfathered through the Americans with Disability Act. We have a waiver,” Telisky said

What that means, Telisky explained, is that if a person with a handicap has an appearance in town or village court, then the court moves downstairs into the village offices.

At the nearly completed police headquarters, Town Councilman Richard LaChapelle and Village Trustee Ken Bartholmew watched Friday afternoon as Shan Beebe carpentered and Duane Gebo of D&N Plumbing and Heating, installed wiring.

In one month, the police quarters has risen from a two-by-four skeleton in early September to a sheet-rocked office space checked by a Whitehall Times photographer on Monday, Sept. 30. A third progress check only four days later showed still more progress.

For example, LaChapelle and Bartholomew noted that not only the walls but also the trim to the offices had been painted, doors hinged, and one office completely finished, down to a refinished antique work desk.

Nevertheless, Bartholomew agreed with Mayor Telisky that 18-months was a safe estimate for moving all village offices into the town’s open office space. He indicated that the point of doing the job internally was to keep costs down by using a small crew.

And logically it takes a small crew a longer time to complete a job, Bartholomew said, agreeing with Mayor Telisky.

As for the police station, both men hoped that the grand opening would take place on schedule, the second week of October. Meanwhile, Town Supervisor George Armstrong said that initial work on offices for town and village court would start in November.

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