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Potential referendum on Adams fire hall project to be discussed today

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ADAMS — The village Board of Trustees tonight will discuss whether to hold a public referendum on borrowing money to pay for the expansion of the fire hall.

The project, which has been estimated to cost more than $1 million, has been considered a village priority because of a lack of space in the existing hall.

Mayor Patricia C. Sweetland and trustees have said that waiting to pursue the project could lead to higher overall costs for the expansion.

Cost estimates have varied, depending on how much of the project is awarded to outside contractors and how much work will be performed by town and village workers.

In anticipation of the costs associated with the expansion, the village in March increased its tax rate by 6 percent, from $6.68 to $7.10 per $1,000 of assessed value.

One person who said he planned to attend tonight’s meeting was William J. Doe, chairman of the village Planning Board. At the Board of Trustees’ meeting in June, Mr. Doe spoke out against the expansion, citing tax rates.

Mr. Doe said that since the June meeting, he had heard from other residents interested in filing a petition to stop the project from continuing because of its effect on taxes.

“We certainly support the fire company. ... We don’t want to take any of that support away from them,” Mr. Doe said Friday. However, he said, the million-dollar price tag for the project was reason for concern.

“That’s an awfully big item to be placing on the taxpayers,” he said.

Mr. Doe said there are three properties near his home that have been taken over by banks, and he speculated that high village taxes contributed to the foreclosure proceedings on the parcels.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the village office, 3 S. Main St.

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