February 12, 2014


County considers paving 4 lots

LotJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program volunteer Theresa Daley parks her car this morning in the Cortland County Office Building parking lot.

Staff Reporter

County officials are trying to determine the priority of paving four deteriorating parking lots as well as how to pay for what could be an approximately $700,000 project.
County Buildings and Grounds Committee officials Tuesday discussed plans to pave parking lots at the County Office Building, a lot on the corner of Greenbush Street and Central Avenue, the Public Safety Building/Courthouse and 37 Church St.
No action was taken and Highway Superintendent Don Chambers plans to report back to the committee next month with cost estimates of drainage and gravel work that can be done by county employees.
Legislators discussed prioritizing the County Office Building parking lot but County Administrator Martin Murphy wants more discussions about the scope of work that would be necessary at each lot as well as which lot should be prioritized and how the work will be paid for.
“There are other capital projects we are committed to already. The replacement of the Little York dam, a $1.6 million bridge and culvert replacement project and capping of the landfill,” Murphy said this morning. He said the county must decide how it will fund all the projects before it proceeds.
Murphy urges the county develop an accounting policy that will determine the level of fund balance to keep and how to spend it, advocating the county bond for capital projects such as the paving of parking lots.
Cortlandville-based Suit-Kote Corp. bid just the milling and pavement for the project. The bid carries a three-year extension and legislators discussed the possibility of spreading the parking lot work over the years to make the costs more manageable.
Legislator Gordon Wheelock (R-Homer) suggested using fund balance to pay for the work, which Murphy warned against, saying that fund is already at an inadequate level.
Murphy instead advocates borrowing for the work as part of a bond package that could include other projects like a security system at the County Office Building, among others.
Murphy wants the Budget and Finance Committee to discuss the plan for bonding and set a county policy to protect the fund balance account in the future.
In the meantime, legislators will hash out the actual cost of the paving project and what is entailed in it.
Legislator Charles Sudbrink (R-Cincinnatus, Freetown, Taylor and Willet) suggested the county focus on doing the County Office Building parking lot first and dedicate the leftover money to repave the other lots in following years.
“At least we’re getting something done because the bigger the project the more time it takes to coordinate things,” Sudbrink said.
Officials hope to start paving in late spring or early summer.
Murphy said there are cavities under some parking lots that have not been adequately filled in, causing structures to settle and compromising the parking lots. County Maintenance Director Brian Parker said the lots are functional but dilapidated.

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