New Falconer Public Facilities shop to be proposed

FALCONER – Legislators will soon hear a pitch to invest money for a new building for the Falconer Department of Public Facilities Shop.

On Monday, George Spanos, director of public facilities for the county, will be meeting with the Public Facilities Committee for a discussion about the Falconer shop. According to Spanos, the discussion will be regarding his recommendation to build a new facility in Falconer.

“For the last 20 years, the county has been trying to get a new facility for Falconer, because the facility has been aged, and it has been in existence since 1926 with no upgrades,” Spanos said. “It’s very hard to maintain the building, it’s very hard to maintain the equipment, because the equipment has grown and the facility has remained the same.”

County Executive Greg Edwards said an analysis had been done many years ago, which recommended upgrading the location.

“Approximately 20 years ago, an analysis of this was done, and it confirmed that a new building needed to be constructed,” Edwards said. “George Spanos has been asked to come and present to the (Public Facilities) committee those facts and certainly the results of the study that was done 20 years ago that showed that needed to be done and to propose potential solutions.”

This suggestion comes just months after a proposal to close the Sherman Department of Public Facilities Shop during summer. Spanos and Edwards said that in closing the shop during the summer, cost savings of around $250,000 would be realized. However, the proposal was met with much resistance. In March, Edwards announced the shop would not be closing, however a study would be done to look for further cost-savings.

“There is no question that we need a facility,” Spanos said. “The Sherman shop, actually, if you had followed what my recommendation was, it was to build a new shop across the street. It wasn’t to eliminate the shop. The facilities are getting old. I don’t think that anybody has any facilities as old as ours. But, that’s not an excuse to build a new facility. It’s that we have outgrown it. The equipment has really gotten bigger, and the facility, of course, has remained the same.”

Monday’s discussion will focus on the changing needs to DPF shops. Spanos said, although the county would look at its options if it chooses to build a new shop, the cost would still fall back upon the taxpayers.

“With government, everything is absorbed by the taxpayers,” Spanos said. “We will, of course, look for grants. But, it’s still taxpayer’s money.”

The Public Facilities Committee will meet Monday in room 331 of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville at 5:45 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.