Sheridan board frustrated with court building engineer

SHERIDAN – The final drawings for courthouse and office renovations to the former St. John Bosco Church building may be done, but frustration and confusion were plentiful regarding the topic during a recent Sheridan Town Board meeting.

Councilman Richard Feinen asked Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro if the project could be bid out in phases, potentially superceding the engineer from Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc. who drew up the plans in their entirety.

Feinen said Phase I would entail framing of the courthouse, with wiring, carpeting, plumbing and other construction endeavors to be part of additional phases.

“Why wouldn’t we just do it as a whole and get it done with? I know you want to try to break things out, but under the municipal law, you’re going to have a very difficult time doing that,” Passafaro said. “You have to take the plans and specs as prepared by the engineer or architect that gave them to you.”

The board received and reviewed the final plans to fix up the church building during a past workshop meeting. According to Renovations Committee member and project manager Glenn Reed, drawing up the plans was an ongoing and slow process ever since the town bought the building from the Diocese of Buffalo several years ago.

“It’s been a fiasco, but it was authorized for a particular firm to do what is to be required,” Reed said. “It went to them three times and it came back incorrect (twice). It was incomplete, they got the figures wrong, it’s just been a fiasco.”

“Mr. Reed has probably been doing more engineering than the engineer has,” Supervisor Louis Delmonte said. “We’re in a position now where we can get started if we could do it in phases. I think we just want to get it moving and get it started by putting it out there.”

Passafaro said he worried about a lack of coordination if the board goes through with piecemealing the project. Much to the board’s dismay, he also said it would have to consult with the engineer in order to write up a legal notice to be given to the local media for the bidding process.

“This is something that is coordinated with the engineer,” he said. “If (the legal notice and specs, stamped and sealed by an engineer,) are not prepared yet, then you really are not in a position to set the date for (accepting bids).”

As a result, the board did not take any action regarding the project, but members did express interest in consulting with other engineering and architect firms for bidding out the multiple phases.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a new local law allowing for an override of the New York state property tax cap for next year’s budget if the need arises.

A new Violence in the Workplace Prevention Policy for the town was also accepted by the board.

The next regular meeting is Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the community center.

A workshop will be held Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in the village offices.

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