Building repairs, infrastructure issues vex Johnsburg Town Board

— When the Johnsburg Town Board opened bids for a new roof for the Town Hall on Tuesday, June 19, the news was sobering.

“We were pretty surprised by the numbers,” Town Supervisor Ron Vanselow said.

The low bid was about $35,000. The high bid was double that amount. The town had set aside between $25,000 and $30,000 for an entire laundry list of projects at various buildings throughout the town.

“That one project is beyond the budget for all the building projects,” Vanselow said.

Other projects needing attention include a roof that needs resurfacing at the Senior Meal Site and Scout Hall that needs attention, including a paint job.

Vanselow offered some options for the Town Hall roof. He suggested possibly buying the materials and having town crews install the roof.

“Mr. Hitchcock (town DPW chief) has expressed a willingness to help with a few projects,” Vanselow said.

As an alternative, Vanselow suggested hiring a few temporary workers with roofing skills to install the roof. Or the town could roll the dice and hope the roof holds up until town finances improve and it can afford to replace the roof.

Councilman Peter Olesheski said the town should consider borrowing via a bond to pay for the roofing project.

“I know we are all very proud of the fact that the town is debt-free,” Olesheski said. “But I hate to see this come to a complete stop.”

Olesheski said the town could pay as much as it could afford toward the cost of the roof and then borrow the balance and pay it off as soon as it could.

Councilwoman Kate Nightingale didn’t like that idea.

“I’m not opposed to using a bond when necessary,” she said. “But after looking at that roof today, I don’t see a reason to run out and get a bond.”

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