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Officials move in to new Potsdam town hall

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POTSDAM — Officials moved into the new Town Hall at 18 Elm St. on Monday after months of construction and nearly a year working in a temporary location.

There have been a few difficulties in the last few days. The phones have not been hooked up yet, and it was discovered that the flooring tiles were faulty and will have to be replaced in the coming weeks because they keep coming loose.

“Other than that, we’re open for business,” town Supervisor Marie C. Regan said.

Town Highway Department workers moved all of the furniture from the temporary location at 12 Elm St. last week.

The building gives officials more than double the space they had at the old Town Hall, according to Mrs. Regan. The basement is mostly empty, apart from a room dedicated to records storage, and the rest could be renovated to house more offices if needed.

“Downstairs there’s room for growth,” Mrs. Regan said.

The hall also includes a break room for employees, a first for the town, and a public kitchen next to a meeting room that can be rented for community events.

The $1.3 million construction was funded through the town’s capital fund, with money raised through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Brookfield Renewable Power.

“It’s all paid for,” Ms. Regan said.

The project initially came under fire from various groups, including those who wanted to preserve the historic original Town Hall at 35 Market St. and those who felt the project was a waste of money. An early plan for a new town hall, which would have been funded with taxpayer money, was voted down in a 2008 referendum.

The former hall at 35 Market St. is undergoing renovations and will reopen as the Town Court on Friday.

The site was renovated extensively to provide more space for court offices, modernize the facilities, install an elevator and remove asbestos found during the renovations. The project was delayed when oil-contaminated soil was discovered in the basement.

The renovated court also has room for Village Court offices to share the space with the town, but it is unknown whether the village will pay rent and utilities to use the new space, instead of continuing to meet in the Potsdam Municipal Building.

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