AUSTERLITZ–A recent visit to the new Town Hall still under construction found Bob Daloia, the general contractor, and his crew busy at work both inside and out. There is now an addition on the side, added since the dedication of the building in June. Town Supervisor Rob Lagonia offered a complete tour.
Walking through the former church reveals the efforts made to lovingly preserve the historic structure, which had been falling down and in disrepair before the town acquired it. The building was in need of massive rebuilding inside along with lifting it up to set it on a new foundation. Supervisor Lagonia pointed out a small section of historic wood, noting that its grain had been painted on over 100 years ago and painted over in blue paint since. A piece of the original will be on display on the first floor.
A neighbor sold the town a small piece of land behind the building to permit construction of a septic system and leach field for the Town Hall. An elevator will make the building handicapped accessible. Stained glass windows, removed for restoration, will be reinstalled in the new board and community room. That room will be equipped with audiovisual equipment to present movies for children and teens.
Funding for the project involves a public-private partnership, with the work expected to be completed by December of this year at a cost of approximately $2.5 million. The money is from charitable donations from citizens who want to shore up and support their community.
In Austerlitz, the Town Hall is one of several building and construction projects under way or completed, including: two bridges, the town park and a new salt shed. Footings are already in place for the shed, which will replace a rented barn previously used for the purpose.
Supervisor Lagonia anticipates no local tax increase in 2019 and the town will remain below its mandated tax cap.