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Other Newstead, Akron sites eyed for joint public works facility

Newstead and Akron are looking at "other sites" for a new joint public works facility after rejecting a $1.6 million counteroffer for the former Northeast Caissons site.

That move was disclosed Monday during a joint work session of the town and village boards in Town Hall. Peter Henley, owner of the Northeast Caissons complex in his Five Corners Business Park on Indian Falls Road, sat silently in the audience as Town Councilman Thomas George, chairman of the Shared Facilities Committee, outlined the latest developments.

Noting that the municipalities have rejected the counteroffer -- lowered from the original asking price of $1.7 million -- George said, "We plan to move forward with a new-build alternative," adding that possible sites "have been discussed in executive sessions.

For over a year, the two boards studied two options: a new complex on town-owned property on Buell Street or converting the former National Caissons' 19,900-square-foot building into a joint complex. The village's existing complex off Parkview Drive is deteriorating, and the town has outgrown its facility on Jackson Street.

Supervisor David Cummings outlined negotiations in an e-mail after the meeting.

Henley asked $1.7 million for 11.3 acres and the building with no frontage on Indian Falls Road. He offered a $200,000 credit on that price if they would pay for installing sewer lines through the property within two years of the signing of a purchase agreement.

Additionally, Cummings said, no tap-in fees would be charged at any time for connecting to the sewer line.

Cummings said the town and village made a counteroffer of $1,150,000 for 17.9 acres, which would include access to Indian Falls Road and rejected providing sewers to the site or no tap-in fees.

Cummings said the offer was based on adding 25 percent to an appraisal of $920,000 for the property and building. He said the site is assessed at $800,000 to $900,000.

"We consider the offer closed and are looking at other sites," he said.

Officials declined to identify any other sites, but sources said at least one under consideration is in the area of Hake Road.

George said the next steps include the two boards adopting an intermunicipal agreement, which spells out the terms and conditions by which Akron and Newstead would finance and operate a joint facility; moving forward on an alternative site; selecting design professionals; and holding a public information meeting on the project within four to six weeks. Also in an e-mail, Henley said that the estimate of $3.5 million for a new build "is wrong."

He claims that the cost will be closer to $4.5 million, because a joint facilities report "did not include $533,199 of soft costs [architectural and engineering], nor did it include another $517,500 in deferred items [salt barn and backup generator].

"Now they are looking at different locations, which will add even more costs to the project," he said.

Many village and town residents have objected as unsightly the proposal to put the complex on 14 acres of town-owned land on Buell Street, at the entrance to the village off Route 5 and adjacent to the town park and a church.

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