Ancram OKs costly couple of cupolas

ANCRAM—If all goes according to plan, Ancram will have a new shed to store its off-season equipment in by December 1—even though the cost will be twice the amount of an earlier estimate.

At its June 20 meeting, the Town Board voted unanimously to go forward with the construction of a 40-foot wide by 80-foot long, 16-foot high cold storage equipment shed. Councilwoman Madeleine Israel was absent.

The board’s vote to move forward with the pole-barn-type building with five 14-by 14-foot overhead doors, a concrete floor, two cupolas and a traditional screw-down panel roof, was made contingent upon a review of the project by the town’s Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) slated for June 22. The Town Board agreed that the project would progress and the bids would be awarded as long as a majority of FAC members did not raise significant objections to the project. Otherwise a special meeting would be slated for further discussion.

The advisory group met and according to an email from Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin, “voted 6-1 (excluding Hugh and me) to endorse the shed plan decision made” by the Town Board.

The one no vote was based on a concern that we were making the $250,000 decision without sufficient deliberation and were excluding the standing seam roof,” the supervisor wrote.

Back in April when the storage shed idea was initially discussed, the building was just 40- by 60-feet, had fewer overhead doors, no concrete floor and no cupolas.

Since then, with continued discussion, the building grew and upgrade options were added.

The structure will be built on Ancram Highway Department property at 2 Town Road, Ancramdale on the site where the former Houghtaling House once stood.

Ray Jurkowski, PE, of CPL, an architectural, engineering and design firm in Hudson, who the town hired to oversee the project from design through construction for $8,000, discussed the bids received. In the interest of decreasing building costs, Mr. Jurkowski suggested that the cupolas might be omitted. He noted that the building site is on a side road and not a major connector so residents of that road would be the only ones impacted.

What you’re saying is that not a lot of people will see it?” questioned Councilwoman Bonnie Hundt.

But some people will see it every day,” added Councilman David Boice. Later in the meeting he said, people who live on that road had told him they were pleased that the board was willing to add the cupolas to break-up the monotony of the long roof.

Councilman Hugh Clark asked, “How much of a benefit is a concrete floor over a gravel floor?”

Mr. Jurkowski said that “long term… moisture will migrate through the gravel” to vehicle electrical systems, a process that would not happen with concrete.

Supervisor Bassin asked Highway Superintendent Jim Miller if the additional 20 feet of building length was necessary? He replied, “It would be nice to have the extra 20-feet.”

Mr. Bassin said the shed cost represented a “significant bump in what we anticipated and was a surprise based on where we started at $75,000.”

The size of the current highway garage, which was renovated and extended at a cost of $650,000 ten years ago is 80- by 80-feet or 6,400 square feet compared to the new shed at 40- by 80-feet or 3,200 square feet at a cost of $250,000.

Mr. Boice noted the new project is “half the size and one third of the cost of what we did 10 years ago.”

After thoroughly discussing the bids, the board decided to go with L.D. Coon and Sons of Ghent for the general construction, including cupolas and the concrete slab at $210,966. Dutchess Overhead Doors was awarded the overhead door contract for their bid of $21,499, which was the lower of the two bids received. Ginocchio Electric will do the electrical work for $16,995, which was the only bid for electrical construction submitted. The total cost of the building came in at $249,460. The highway department will do all site preparation and landscaping work.

Mr. Bassin said that the town “can’t do everything else we wanted to do this year” like repave the parking lot and put a new roof on the Town Hall, but “we’ll deal with it.”

The town has the money to pay for the new shed but will come up somewhat short on the amount of money it likes to keep on hand for “unforeseen circumstances.”

In his monthly financial report the supervisor wrote, the “year-end cash projection is $609,000 down from the $718,000 year-end cash projection we had last month due to the higher than expected cost of the proposed garage shed ($250,000 v. $125,000.)

Councilman Boice noted that the town’s other capital projects won’t have to wait too long since, “we’re already in June and it’s only five months till next year.”

To contact Diane Valden email

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