WINTHROP - Stockholm town officials have started preliminary discussions about constructing a new municipal building adjacent to the existing highway department barns in Holmes Hill, midway between the towns two most populated hamlets, Winthrop and West Stockholm.
Stockholm Town Supervisor Clark Decker said a number of issues with the Quonset-style World War I surplus building that has served as the towns municipal building for the past four decades had prompted the discussions.
We had an energy audit done here by SUNY Canton students, and the results were not promising. (Councilman) Matt (White, a contractor) looked at the roof and said it has two to three years left. This is a big building and that would be a huge cost to replace the roof, Mr. Decker said.
In addition to considering a new building, town officials will also be analyzing the cost that would be entailed in rehabbing the current municipal building in Winthrop.
No decisions have been made. We are just exploring our options. Were going in with our eyes wide open. If it becomes obvious it would be a lot more efficient to do this (a new building), thats the way we will go, he added.
The Stockholm town supervisor said SUNY Canton students have also provided town officials with drawings for a proposed new town hall. He said town officials are exploring the possibility of a zero net energy building, the first in Northern New York and potentially the first in the state.
Were in the process of doing a request for expressions of interest, he said.
The new building would also include a community kitchen meeting Department of Health standards that could be used by fire departments, church groups and youth organizations for meals.
The current municipal building in Winthrop houses the town supervisor, town clerk, code enforcement officer and the Stockholm Town Court as well as the town museum.
Mr. Decker said the initial drawings for the new town hall did not include space for the museum. We realize we would have to do something with the museum because the main idea is to get out of this building, he noted.
He said he has been soliciting input from town residents about the potential construction of a new office building. Ive talked to several taxpayers, and they say we should at least look at it. Im not convinced it will be the best plan, but if we dont look at it we will never know, Mr. Decker said.
He suggested moving the municipal building from Winthrop to Holmes Hill, also known as Stockholm Center, made sense since the town already owns the property that houses the highway garages. Eventually we would look at selling this property, he said, sitting at his desk in the current Stockholm municipal building.