March 18, 2010


Painting of Dwyer Park pavilion uncertain

County has turned to Cortland Repertory Theatre to paint it after facing budget shortfall

Staff Reporter

Budget shortfalls in Cortland County are causing county officials and the Cortland Repertory Theatre members to explore having the theater group paint the Dwyer Park pavilion.
The county was precluded from painting the pavilion by last year’s budget planning that lowered an $85,000 expense line item in the Dwyer Park budget to $35,000 for 2010.
County officials now want CRT to take on the project. It is not known how much the paint job may cost.
In July, the county rejected a $79,900 bid from Paul Yaman Inc. to paint the pavilion since the Highway Department did not have enough money to pay for the project.
The pavilion was set to be painted in 2009, after repairs to it were completed in 2008.
But because of the budget shortfall, the work was put off. This would have included painting the outside of the pavilion, the second level wood deck floor, the wood columns on the porch and the stair framing and trim.
County Attorney Ed Purser is reviewing Cortland County’s licensing agreement with the CRT, which allows the theater to use the pavilion, to see if the agreement could include wording that requires the theater group to paint the pavilion.
“It may be feasible but the question is if the CRT wants to incur the expense or if the county would make a contribution to that in some way,” Purser said.
The county Highway Committee passed the license renewal without any wording about painting the building, by a vote of 4-2 March 9.
Danny Ross (R-Cortlandville) was opposed. Jennifer Gofkowski (D-Homer) was absent.
The Legislature could amend the wording at the March 25 session.
The pavilion’s last overall paint job was 1972, said County Historian Jeremy Boylan.
Highway Department Superintendent Don Chambers and Highway Committee member Susan Briggs (R-Cortlandville) will meet with Purser and Cortland Repertory Theater Artistic Director Kerby Thompson within the month to determine if CRT would go out to bid for the work.
Briggs said she will report on the group’s decision at the April Highway Committee meeting.
The pavilion, situated at the north end of Little York Lake, is rented for events such as weddings and other gatherings and is home to the Cortland Repertory Theater, which has performances from June to August.
Highway Committee Chairman Dave Fuller (D-Cincinnatus, Taylor, Freetown and Willet) said CRT would get a lower price for the work than the county would, since the county has to pay state wages when it contracts with agencies.
“The price would be much lower and how much lower I don’t know, it’s unknown, because we have to put it out for bid,” Fuller said.
Fuller said he would at least like the bare wood on the pavilion to be sealed if the painting has to be put off another year.
“Maybe it can happen in a couple of stages so we can get it sealed up one year and the following year painted,” Fuller said.
Briggs said the end goal is to have the pavilion painted and kept in nice condition.
“It is such a wonderful landmark, and I would think I speak for most legislators when I say we want to see it cared for ... How we get there is where we’re at now,” Briggs said.
President of the Board of Directors at the Cortland Repertory Theatre, John Folmer, said the theater is interested in painting the pavilion in the original color scheme of maroon so it is historically correct.
“I think both the theater and the county are interested in doing this and (finding out) if it can be done economically and consistent with budget constraints,” Folmer said.
The pavilion was constructed in 1906 and has undergone changes over the years. A slate-roofed restroom was added on the north side in 1961, enclosed verandas were also added and the roof was changed from cedar shingles to a combination of tin and asphalt shingles, which was reshingled in 2001. The pavilion is considered architecturally unique in the area.
Purser and Thompson were not available for comment by press time.


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