Friday, September 23, 2016

$9 million construction project slated for approval by Steuben Legislature

BATH – The Steuben County Legislature will be asked Monday to approve a proposal to fund the construction of additional office, conference, and records storage space to help relieve crowded conditions at the Steuben County Office Building. The proposal calls for the $7.8 million center to be constructed on East Morris Street, directly across from the main county office building located on East Pulteney Square, and a $1.4 million records storage building to be built on Mount Washington Road. The cost would be paid through a low-interest, 10-year $5 million bond, with the remainder paid by Steuben reserves. The proposal, recently approved by the county Legislature’s Special Building Committee, follows a yearlong study on a number of options proposed by project consultant LaBella Associates. Steuben officials have been concerned for years about the lack of space at the county building and the inconvenience for residents looking for services. In addition, the county now pays approximately $50,000 per year to house electronic voting machines and state-required records at the Old Health Care Facility.
"The current County Office Building has served us well for 30 years, but expanded state mandates, specifically in court-related functions, have forced us to add staff in recent years," said County Manager Jack Wheeler. "With these changes, we literally have no additional office space for these services. We are confident that this project will provide us with adequate space for decades to come."
If approved by county legislators, the proposal calls for: 1) A 18,500 square-foot, two-story center on East Morris Street to house: * The county Board of Elections, electronic voting machines. * Steuben’s Cornell Cooperative Extension offices and test/instructional kitchens. * A 150-seat conference room which could be divided into smaller meeting rooms as needed. * Records storage space. 2) A 4,300 square-foot metal storage facility on Mount Washington would include an office and state-required "inactive" records. If approved by the county Legislature, which meets in regular session at 10 a.m. Monday at 3 E. Pulteney Square in Bath, construction is expected to be completed by mid-2018.