Richmondville looks at shared building
By Jim Poole
Richmondville's town and village plan to study additional shared services, and that study may lead to one building for offices of both municipalities.
Town Councilman Vern Hall and village representative Phil Butler said they’re looking at the former K&K Bus Line garage on Main Street for the offices, and, with an addition, Richmondville Court.
The need for a study developed from two meetings of the town and village boards. Officials of both agree that the two already share some services but could share more and save money by doing so.
To that end, they’ll apply for a $25,000 grant from the Department of State. With the money, Richmondville would hire a consultant to perform the sharing study.
The study, Mr. Hall and Mr. Butler believe, will determine whether the former K&K garage is feasible for offices.
The town needs a new office building because its present Quonset hut is inadequate and isn’t handicapped accessible, Mr. Hall said.
Also, the town is paying $950 monthly rent, money that could be used elsewhere, he said.
The village owns its office on Main Street, but the building needs roof repairs and other work, Mr. Butler said.
“In order to do a new town hall, we’d have to partner with the village,” Mr. Hall said.
It would be ideal to keep the town office in the village, close to the post office and bank, he added.
Officials are already talking with building owner Dick Bartholomew about purchasing the former garage.
Before progressing too far, however, Richmondville must see whether it would qualify for $400,000 in state grants “to purchase the building and add on,” Mr. Hall said.
Richmondville could also get a loan at one percent from the Rural Development Agency, Mr. Hall said.
“We could use the money we’re paying for rent now to pay off the loan,” he said.
If plans progress and the two move into one building, the village would probably lease its current building as office space, according to Mr. Butler.
Having the two in one building would be convenient for taxpayers and would lead to more shared services.
“What that means down the road, who knows?” Mr. Hall asked.
Mr. Butler admitted that moving into a joint office has little immediate gain for the village, but a shared building could lead to consolidating the municipalities.
“We would see if everyone is comfortable in one building,” he said.
That’s in the future. The town and village must first meet the grant application deadline of September 23 for the $25,000 study grant. The village board has already passed a resolution supporting the application; the town is expected to do so at its next meeting.
“The study will show how to share more, how to save and how it would be for our community,” Mr. Hall said.
“We want to do this at no added burden to the taxpayer.”