LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Board of Legislators will be discussing a long-dormant capital project to construct a new building to house various county services in light of the expensive repairs needed for the current Stowe Street location and the cost of rent for some departments.
At the end of the Finance Committee meeting on Aug. 20, District 10 Legislator Jerry King proposed that the building options be discussed publicly in the September board meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the legislative board room, third floor.
Although no specific resolution has been made, the options discussed in workshops throughout the summer are generally whether to build a new structure in the village proper, outside of the village on the current Stowe Street property or to find a different property outside of the village, according to County Manager Ryan Piche.
The board hired architects Bernier & Carr Associates, Watertown, were contracted over the summer to come up with a list of potential site options for the new campus.
The firm also created the plans to build a new building on the Stowe Street property about 15 years ago.
In anticipation of the need for the building, the board has been making financial plans that began with including a tax increase just under 2 percent last year, creating $300,000 that could be put aside to go for a bond payment.
The board passed a resolution in October to enter a zero interest bond agreement with Lewis County General Hospital for $6 million of the $6.2 million used to build the Lewis County Education Center; $4 million had already been set aside for the project, but building costs went over by $2.2 million.
By bonding the entire amount, the board planned to set aside about $5.8 million to go toward a future capital project, the resolution said.
Departments currently operating out of the Stowe Street building include Social Services, Community Services, Emergency Services, The Work Place, the Youth Bureau and the Office for the Aging.
The new campus would house the majority of county offices, eliminating the need to continue to pay rent, as in the case of the Board of Elections and the Department of Motor Vehicles.