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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Supervisor defends new Potsdam town hall

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POTSDAM - Potsdam Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan defended the construction of a new $1.8 million town hall at 18 Elm St. during a town board meeting on Tuesday.

Protestors erected a banner at the construction site last week, which has since been taken down. The banner referenced a 2008 referendum, where voters rejected a plan to build a $3.2 million combined town hall and town court, which would have been partially funded by bonds from taxpayers.

“I’d like to make it clear that this project is not the same as the one that was turned down in 2008,” Ms. Regan said.

Residents were worried that the proposed town hall would raise their taxes and that it would leave a vacancy at the town hall’s former location, 35 Market St.

Under the current plan, the town court will remain at 35 Market St. after a $600,000 renovation. Other town offices will move to a new one-story building at 18 Elm St.

Construction on the new town hall began last week.

“We’re not leaving a hole on Market Street. We’re right across from the Civic Center. We’re not asking for public bond,” Ms. Regan said.

The new building will be paid entirely through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy, now Brascan Hydro. This money can only be used for capital projects.

A lack of space, a leaky roof and falling tiles at the former location made a major renovation and a new building necessary, according to Ms. Regan.

The new town hall is slated for completion by Nov. 30.

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