At Monday night's informal Common Council meeting, Peter Bujanow, commissioner of Public Works, reported about five resolutions that would be introduced at the regular meeting of Council next Tuesday, January 18. His report provided an update on a number of projects in the works which have been out of the public eye for a while.
- A firm has been selected to do a feasibility study on converting 400 State Street into City Hall, although the identity of the firm has not yet been revealed. The study is being funded by $100,000 from the Galvan Foundation, which proposed moving City Hall to 400 State Street and has offered to give the historic building to the City for that purpose.
- The City is ready to go out for bid on the alterations to 520 Warren Street, the current City Hall, to make the building, primarily the entrance, ADA compliant. Conceptually, the plans involve removing the marble steps, lowering the entry doors to street level, and building stairs and installing a lift inside the doors. The concept was reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission in November 2020, and it was agreed that the HPC would review the project again when the final plans were developed. To Gossips' knowledge, that second review has never happened.
- In December 2021, it was revealed that the City had received a grant for $17,500 for a parking study, a grant that was applied for back in 2019, when Rick Rector was mayor. On Monday, Bujanow reported the contract with Empire State Development pertaining to that grant had been signed.
- The City is ready to issue a RFP (request for proposal) for the development of the Dunn warehouse. In March 2020, the DRI Committee issued a request for expression of interest in developing the Dunn building. There was only one response. It was from Bonacio Construction in Saratoga Springs. Bonacio managed to persuade the DRI Committee that the three City-owned parcels north of the the Dunn warehouse would be needed "to round out the Dunn redevelopment site and make a potential investment viable," so in June 2020, the Common Council passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to issue "an expanded request for expression of interest" that included everything on the east side of Water Street, from Broad Street to Ferry Street. It is not known--at least not by Gossips--if such an REI was ever issued. Back in May 2021, there was some question about whether or not these parcels were classified as waterfront properties, which would prohibit the City from selling them. How that question was resolved is also not known.
- There has been no news about the intersection improvements at Green Street and Fairview Avenue since April 2021, when the Common Council approved paying a bill for $4,975 to Creighton Manning for work on the "Stewart's intersection." It will be remembered that when the City changed its zoning to accommodate Stewart's plans for expansion, the City received $200,000 in a host community benefit agreement. That money—$135,000 to $140,000 of it—was to used to make safety improvements to the intersection, with the remainder—$60,000 to $65,000—going to fund updating the City's zoning and the comprehension plan. That deal was cut back in May 2019. On Monday, Bujanow reported that the City was ready to go with the improvements to the intersection, although the public has not seen the plan, but disclosed that the entire $200,000 will not be sufficient to cover the cost of the improvements.
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