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Town officials to discuss funding work on highway department barn

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MASSENA - After voting to move ahead on bonding for work on the Massena Town Hall and parking lot this week, town officials now plan to further review their options for addressing a number of issues at the town’s Highway Department garage.

Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he plans to have a discussion with the Massena Town Council at next week’s meeting to determine whether to renovate or replace the garage.

Recent bids place the cost of renovating the building at $1.76 million, and older bids put the cost of replacing it at $2.6 million; however, Councilman Robert Cunningham is currently gathering data to determine if a new garage could be constructed for less than the cost of renovating the building, according to Mr. Gray.

Another factor the town council may want to consider is the benefit of having a new, additional building for storage, Mr. Gray said. “There’s no doubt (a new building) would be good to store stuff inside,” he said.

The list of work needed on the highway department barn includes installing a new roof and new floor, better insulating the building, renovating the break room and lobby area, and updating the old and out-dated electrical system, according to Highway Department Superintendent Frank Diagostino.

“There’s extensive, extensive renovations (needed to be done) to the town highway garage, everything from mechanicals to roofing to asbestos abatement and huge aesthetics improvements,” Mr. Gray said previously.

Mr. Diagostino said the most pressing renovation work is the insulation, the roof replacement and the updating of the electrical system, and these repairs would also save the town on the cost of heating the barn in the winter. He also said the roof leaks, which could be damaging for the equipment and problematic for employees. “For a working environment it needs to be repaired, (and also) for the people who work there,” he said.

Mr. Gray thanked highway department employees for putting up with the conditions at the building. “I think the people at the highway department have been very patient, working in conditions that are not comfortable,” he said.

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