New highway

DANNEMORA - The town of Dannemora has been limping along without a formal home for its highway department, but plans are in motion to make a more permanent solution a reality.

Town Supervisor Americo "Ves" Pivetta, said the town has been in the process of finalizing its claim following the Jan. 1 fire that destroyed the highway department's former home on Town Garage Road.

"It's a lengthy process because of the insurance," said Pivetta. "But they're good people and doing everything they can to speed it up."

The town is still in the process of inventorying items lost in the blaze, said Pivetta, though is close to settling with its insurance company for the building. Two new snowplows for the department are on order, with delivery expected the middle of this month.

Ground could be broken for a new five-bay building as early as mid-April, said Pivetta, with the building completed by October. Regardless, the structure will be a vast improvement from the Quonset hut turned into a makeshift home for the highway department decades ago, Pivetta added.

"This will be a nice steel building and I think every person in the town of Dannemora will be proud of it," said the supervisor.

Howard "Pete" Barber, who serves as the town's highway superintendent, said he looks forward to moving into the new building, which will be designed to be energy-efficient. Currently, the department's offices are housed in a trailer on the grounds of the former highway garage, with the town utilizing equipment from other municipalities and state agencies, stored in their buildings.

"All the towns around have just ben marvelous, donating time, equipment, even moral support," chuckled Barber. "It's been a real nice outpouring of support. I don't know how I'll ever repay them."

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