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Yates looks at new building opportunity ADVERTISEMENT

Yates looks at new building opportunity

YATES COUNTY--A special ad hoc committee consisting of members of the Yates County Legislature received the first public presentation on a proposed $26 million project, Monday, Aug. 1. The project could remove, replace or rehab aging and inadequate highway and public works buildings and build a new center for the highway department, office of emergency management and public health. Yates County has access to roughly $20 million in reserve and federal funding to help pursue the project, leaving about $6 million of the project left to fund.
Yates County Highway Superintendent Doug Rapalee was in attendance and detailed why such a drastic overhaul of the existing facilities is needed.
"Current facilities built in the 50s and 60s no longer meet the operational needs of the highway department at this time," said Rapalee. "Existing buildings are not energy efficient and the size of equipment used today... is vastly different from years past."
The highway department's facility shortcomings were documented in a 2019 needs assessment performed by Hunt Engineering.
"As we get information from subcontractors on costs they are seeing, we can start to really refine the cost down so we know where the cost is going to be before bid day," said Rapalee.
According to Rapalee, the plan calls for a new 53,000 square foot facility, which would include space for the highway, the office of emergency services and public health departments.
"We also intend to have a new fuel facility, salt storage barn and rehab buildings on the current site," said Rapalee.
Buildings at the Benton site would also have to be demolished and to fit the new facility the existing roughly seven-acre footprint of the current facility lot would have to be expanded to about 12 acres through the purchase of three adjacent properties.
"This would allow for future expansions down the road with fire and Emergency Management Services," added Rapalee.
County Administrator Nonie Flynn broke down the current funding for the project detailing that the county currently has roughly $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act money that can be spent on facilities that involve public health and roughly an additional $15 million combined from different applicable reserve funds.
Members of C&S Engineering were also on hand to take questions about the project.
Members of the committee thanked Rapalee and C&S for putting together the presentation but made it clear that absolutely no commitment had been made at this time.

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