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Brasher soliciting bids for construction of new municipal garage

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BRASHER FALLS — Brasher Town Council members agreed Wednesday to go out for bids on the proposed municipal garage on County Route 53, approving a legal notice that seeks bids for general construction, plumbing, heating-ventilation and air conditioning, and electrical work.

Sealed bids are due by 4 p.m. Nov. 6. Town officials are working with Beardsley Design Associates, Malone, on the project.

Councilman John M. Keenan said his concern is the potential cost of the project based on what Town Supervisor M. James Dawson had discussed during the board’s September meeting.

Mr. Dawson told board members last month that he had budgeted $1.3 million for the building two years ago, and the cost estimates from the architectural firm indicated construction could cost anywhere from $1.2 million to $1.5 million. He said more than $100,000 has been spent on the project, including the cost to purchase the land, conduct an archaeological study, drill and survey the property.

But, Mr. Dawson said Wednesday, his concern is that the project stays within the budget, not that there wouldn’t be enough funding for it.

He said there are ways to shave off some of the costs.

“We have to have a concrete containment for the storage of the fuel oil, gasoline, that kind of thing. We’ll build that ourselves. We’ll also do the pad for the salt shed when we move it from its present location,” he said. Contractors will prep the area in front of the garage for paving, but the town’s highway department will do the paving itself to save more money.

He said the project should be finished by this time next year. It is being financed using money the town receives from the casino gaming compact rather than as an additional burden for taxpayers.

“This is really a gift ... We can do it without raising taxes,” Mr. Dawson said.

The current town garage located in Helena was purchased from the St. Lawrence Seaway for $1 in 1958. The town had to build the foundation and walls for the steel building that served as a storage shed for the Seaway. The building is not big enough for the highway department’s vehicles, furnaces are hanging from the ceiling and some of the walls are crumbling and have needed repairs, according to town officials.

A salt shed and sand are also kept at a separate location owned by the town on Meyers Road, meaning highway personnel have to travel from the town garage to that site every time they need to load up.

Town officials purchased 5.35 acres of property from Leon Dishaw on County Route 53 in Helena for $35,000 for the new municipal garage.

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