Village’s 3 Main St. to see upgrades, including facelift for PD

The village of Saranac Lake plans to renovate this building it owns at 3 Main St. (Enterprise photo — Jesse Adcock)

SARANAC LAKE — The village Board of Trustees has agreed to move forward with two of the three projects concerning the renovation and expansion of its building at 3 Main St., totaling around $1 million, according to early design estimates.

The trustees agreed at a Thursday work session to add an addition onto the police department and a repair of the building’s shell in the works. Each of those projects are estimated to cost around half a million dollars, but are still at the conceptual level in planning.

The third project the board looked at was the renovation of the interior of 3 Main St. to house the village offices.

Members of the board were unsure whether that was the correct way forward, and have continued to discuss it.

“We’ve identified two priorities: the police station — we’re going with it,” village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said at Thursday night’s Board of Trustees work session. “Number two, we’re doing the shell and get that out to bid and do it.”

The village acquired the building at the south end of Main Street in 1986 and its offices were housed there for 25 years until 2011. It then leased the space to a biotech firm and moved a block away into the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall at 39 Main St.

The current biotech firm in the space, Ampersand Biosciences, is moving to the former elementary school in Lake Clear, so the downtown space will be vacant once again.

The village leases the 2,861-square-foot second floor of Harrietstown Hall from the town for around $2,700 a month.

The police department

The police department upgrades would include exterior improvements, an addition, re-roofing the police department wing, along with new entrances and office spaces.

Interior renovations would also be included, like an American Disabilities Act approved bathroom.

The village plans to take out a bond anticipatory note for the half a million dollar project. A BAN is a short term loan where an entity receives the sum in advance. The village would start to make payments on the loan during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

However, the board wants to get the project up and running by getting the contracting documents ready to go out to bid, which would cost around $24,500. This money was discussed as being added to the 2019-20 budget, which is currently being crafted.

The shell of the building

This project would cost around half a million as well. Similar to the previous project, costs of around $24,500 would be included in this year’s budget to get the project ready to go out to bid.

The full amount for around half a million dollars would be put into a BAN, and payments would begin in 2020-21.

It would include repairs to the roof, the cornice and repair of the building’s damaged terracotta blocks. Additionally, it would include repairs to the elevator shaft — which has to be looked at to be certain what the problem is. Either the roof of the shaft is compromised, or moisture is leaking through the plaster, village officials said.

The interior renovations

Interior renovations to render the space fit for the village offices was ballparked at about half a million dollars.

“My gut feeling is if we could rent that space and stay here we’d be better off,” said Trustee Rich Shapiro.

He raised the point that the last time the village moved, it incurred around $50,000 in moving expenses and additional costs to get situated — which are not included in the estimated costs for the renovation.

Trustee Melinda Little said she liked a point Trustee Paul Van Cott, who was absent from the work session, has raised in the past: that concentrating both Harrietstown and village offices in the same place makes it easier for taxpayers to access those respective services.

“I’m happy to hear that we’re talking about the priority for the police department, and getting the facade and stuff settled,” Trustee Patrick Murphy said.

He added that weighing the benefits of the space at 3 Main St., versus staying at the Harrietstown Hall, deserved further conversation.

The trustees then went into executive session to discuss prospective tenants for the space.

The village will have another work session to discuss the tentative 2019-20 budget at 5 p.m. Monday, where plans may be discussed further.