The Town of Dunkirk discussed the need for an addition and renovations to the town hall.
Councilmen Henry Walldorff and Robert Penharlow told the board they met with Ed Schober, lead architect from Sandberg-Kessler Architecture & Engineering, to discuss the changes. "They (Sandberg-Kessler) seem like they're more agreeable to work with our ideas about how we want to do things than the other architects we've talked to," Walldorff stated.
While Town Supervisor Richard Purol did not attend the meeting with Schober, he concurred. "The first architect we talked to, it was just his ideas, and it wasn't going to work for us," Purol said and noted other firms offered "figures that were way out of proportion ... one was over $1 million."
OBSERVER Photos by Shirley Pulawski
Top: The Dunkirk Town Hall and court are in need of renovations and expansion, according to the town council.
Above: Pictured at the Dunkirk Town council meeting are (from left) Councilmen Henry Walldorff, Juan Pagan, Mark Kutner and Robert Penharlow.
Walldorff told the board, "They seem agreeable to working within our budget constraints, working within that figure. They're certainly not thinking in terms of the Taj Mahal. If we think what they envision is too much, they can shrink it down."
Penharlow said the project is important to the town. "This is something that is really needed. The heating system (in the current building) isn't very good. The electrical system isn't very good. The bathrooms are certainly not in good shape and definitely not up to code or handicap accessible. We've been budgeting for this... We've been setting money aside conservatively, so the taxpayers shouldn't see a big bill out of this. We've been saving up for this," he stated.
Purol told the board he's looked into some of the details regarding the construction as well. Regarding wages for labor, Purol told the board, "We will have to pay the prevailing rate because we're a municipality."
Articles 8 and 9 of the New York State Labor Law, which cover public construction and building service contracts, dictate wage guidelines. According to the New York State Department of Labor's website, "Under New York State Labor Law, contractors and subcontractors must pay the prevailing rate of wage and supplements (fringe benefits) to all workers under a public work contract. Employers must pay the prevailing wage rate set for the locality where the work is performed. Prevailing wage is the pay rate set by law for work on public work projects. This applies to all laborers, workers or mechanics employed under a public work contract."
Wage schedules are issued by the Department of Labor on a county-by-county basis. The published schedules contain the pay rates for each work classification, and all contracts between a government entity and a contractor must contain these schedules.
Some of the discussion at the special meeting also centered on what changes to the building would require the installation of a sprinkler system. The specific criteria was unclear to the board members at the meeting based prior talks with engineers. Several members mentioned the construction threshold at which sprinklers would be required is be an issue they would investigate before the next meeting.
The board unanimously passed a resolution to work with Sandberg-Kessler to move forward with the building renovations and addition, not to exceed a cost of $499,000, and contingent upon review by town attorney Jeffrey Passafaro, who was not present at the meeting.
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