Shared services facility gets high marks in Watkins Glen
Another example of sharing services — and saving taxpayers money — is now fully operational on the south end of Decatur Street in Watkins Glen.
Schuyler County and Watkins Glen village employees began moving into their new offices in the Shared Public Works Facility in December.
They're settled in now, and on Wednesday a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. will kick off an open house with tours for the public.
The tours will include the work bays with overhead doors large enough for all trucks ? with or without a snowplow, according to county and village officials.
Persistent, false rumors that the doors were built too narrow were part of the endeavor that began in early 2009. Welliver McGuire Inc. of Montour Falls was the general contractor on the $3 million facility.
"Everything fits in," County Administrator Timothy O'Hearn said emphatically last week. And Mayor Judy Phillips is quick to show a visitor to the new building a truck parked in a work bay with a plow on its front.
The village's streets and utilities departments are now housed in the building, along with the county's highway, weights and measures, watershed and soil and water conservation departments. The village code enforcement officer has his office there, too.
The Watkins Glen school district also is a partner because right next door it has truck repair capabilities intentionally not duplicated in the new facility.
The Seneca Lake waterfront structure in which the departments had been located had been used since the 1890s.
"It's exciting to be able to do these things," Phillips said, pointing out that the land on which the new building is located already was tax-exempt as county-owned land.
The county was the lead agency for the project. It received a $483,000 state grant to help with the funding.
The village and the county each put $500,000 into the effort, and about $1.5 million was borrowed.Glenda Gephart
April 3, 2010, 6:05 pm