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Lewis legislators discuss plans for public forum on county office project

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County legislators posed many questions concerning the proposed new office building when they met Thursday afternoon, but their discussions resulted in few answers.

Instead, the board is waiting to hear from the community when it holds a public forum Tuesday.

“It’s a huge decision,” said Board of Legislators Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan. “We are coming to listen.”

The public will view two PowerPoint presentations at Tuesday’s meeting. Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown, will present plans for a three-story office building with an unfinished top floor intended solely for storage and future needs, while the county will present the financial impact of the building project, along with several possible options still on the table.

The option of reducing the $11.2 million three-story structure to an $8.7 million two-story structure will be discussed.

The final space allotted for the Department of Social Services in the new building will indicate how much grant money the county will receive for construction.

Restoration of the vacated space in the Social Services building on outer Stowe Street and relocation of displaced departments in rented properties also will factor into the location of other offices.

Legislators also discussed a letter they received from the village of Lowville requesting a meeting between the village’s Municipal Water and Sewer Board and county officials, “to discuss and clarify the water and sewer demands of this project.”

Village officials also expressed concerns over the anticipated increase in traffic on village-owned Stowe Street.

Legislative Buildings and Grounds Committee Chairman Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham, said, “We’ll be talking to the village about everything.”

The public forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Lowville fire hall on North State Street.

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