The Town of Augusta will continue to look into the possibility of buying the former ARC building in Knoxboro to use as a Town Hall.
A public hearing last week brought out about a dozen town residents, all who said they were in favor of the purchase. Town Supervisor Sue Collins explained that the ARC offered the North Road facility to the town, at a reasonable price, before putting it on the market.
Collins said the cost of $107,000 would not come from the town’s general budget, but from money given to Augusta as part of the Oneida Indian Land Claim. Renovations would be paid for from federal recovery money, which the town has to date received $120,000 under the program.
People who spoke at the hearing said the one-floor building on 5 acres could be used for community events as well as the town offices. Collins said those decisions were down the road if the town buys the building.
Augusta rents space from the Village of Oriskany Falls in their Village Hall. The town uses the upstairs for town board meetings, court and some offices, while Town Clerk Sonya Furness has an office downstairs.
Collins said while there is a chair lift to the second floor, there’s a question of whether it’s convenient for people to reach it to use. Parking is also limited in the lot next to the Village Hall.
Collins said about 15 years ago the town looked at building a Town Hall, but the cost was too high. “The building needs work,’’ she said. “We wouldn’t move in tomorrow but it’s a step in the future.’’
Councilman Jim Dowd said he was not in favor, largely because of the amount and cost of work that likely is needed. “Would you buy a house without knowing what needs fixing,’’ he said.
He said the Board agreed a few months ago to find a contractor to assess the…