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Hurry up ... and wait

AMENIA — The conversation regarding Town Hall’s move into the Amenia Elementary School (AES) building continued at the July 15 Town Board meeting.

The town plans on buying the building from the Webutuck Central School District. The arrangement is it will purchase the building for $1, since it will be used for municipal purposes.

“I am trying to move in there asap because we are paying rent here,” town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard said, noting the current Town Hall space is leased from the Amenia Firehouse on Mechanic Street. “And I guess it’s taking a little longer than I planned. We’ll continue in that direction though. I was originally planning for the end of this month, and there are bids to move, and I think we should approve one of these so we can start packing.”

“I think we should wait,” Councilwoman Darlene Riemer said. “It’s premature. This is a big move and there’s a certain way of approaching this whole thing ... first is the closing.”

Riemer gave the example that it’s hard to determine what windows must be washed when some are being replaced. She also said the building needs security, as well as an outside code compliance review and change of use permit. She recommended Building Inspector Mike Segelken be liaison, rather that the one in charge of those reviews.

“These things need to be planned,” Riemer said, adding that Americans with Disabilities Act code requirements must be met. “You can’t expect people to walk up those steps.”

Metal detectors for courts, a reception area for the town clerk, signage for offices within the building, benches between meeting rooms along the hallways — those details and more must  be addressed, Riemer said. She also said a moving date should be set after the closing, not before. Euvrard, meanwhile, continued to ask for approval to accept a bid to hire movers.

“I’m trying to do the right thing,” he said. “I did go out to bid.”

“As far as approving bids now, what if something changes, and we want to phase things in?” Riemer said. “Bids don’t cost anything. Maybe I’m the lone ranger here.”

“I agree,” Councilwoman Vicki Doyle said. “I don’t think we’re in a rush, personally.”

Euvrard said he “made a note” regarding the town clerk’s storage needs, which include temperature- controlled, fire-proof archive storage.

Asked about the closing date, Attorney to the Town Michael Hayes said it will be set soon, as the title is lined up, according to the school district’s attorney. The school district still needs to send Hayes the deed to the building and Route 22 property.

“It’s nice to have a target date,” Riemer said regarding the yet-to-be-set moving date. “We need to own this building.”

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