Awaiting Approval

MAYVILLE – Construction plans are coming together for a new Department of Public Facilities building in Falconer.

During a Monday night meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Public Facilities Committee in Mayville, design plans for the building and a resolution to authorize the issuance of $4 million in bonds to pay for the cost of construction were discussed.

“I know this is big number for everyone,” said David Himelein, R-Findley Lake. “I think it’s a project that’s needed to be done for a long time.”

George Spanos, director of public facilities, met with the same committee in April and expressed concern that the facility had not had any upgrades since it was built in 1926.

Monday night, Spanos unveiled designs from engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee which featured eight bays for vehicles, a welding facility, offices on the building’s second floor for supervisors and a basement mechanical room.

“Our plan is to complete the design by the middle of January,” Spanos said.

The proposed 24,000-square-foot building would house all operations within the department and sit adjacent to the current facility on North Work Street in Falconer.

The department’s maintenance facility on East Mosher Street would be used for storage.

An assessment to identify potential environmental impacts of the project was recently performed and revealed little to no impact on the area surrounding the building site, according to Steve Abdella, acting county executive.

“It’s consistent with what has been the (facility’s) use for decades,” Abdella said of the facility.

Spanos said he had met with concerned residents and one of their biggest concerns was noise, for which he said a “buffer zone” of spruce trees could be planted to block sound.

Legislators responded, some with support and others with questions.

“There will be people opposed to this. Be prepared for some concerns,” said Tom Erlandson, D-Frewsburg. “I do think that the facility needs to be constructed and I certainly support it.”

Himelein asked whether the $4 million amount was expected to increase.

“We’re still close to the amount we estimated 3 years ago,” Spanos said. “We’ll try to maintain the cost.”

Of the department’s three shops in the county, Sheridan currently has the best facility according to Spanos. It was built in the 1990s and is the most updated.

The committee showed full support on Monday and the resolution will be presented to the full legislature in Mayville on Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m.