Committee will review St. Armand highway garage options

BLOOMINGDALE – St. Armand town Supervisor Charles Whitson has appointed a committee of five town residents to make recommendations for a new highway department garage.

Whitson said Tuesday that he’s picked Paul Aery, Chuck Bruce, Ollie Burgess, Tug Duffy and town Justice Sheridan Swinyer to serve on the committee. They were selected based on their experience in construction and knowledge of building materials, Whitson said.

The supervisor said the committee’s biggest task will be to help the town board determine what materials the new garage should be constructed of: lumber, concrete blocks, insulated concrete form blocks or pre-engineered steel.

“These individuals have a big task ahead of them to make a presentation to the board, which I’m sure, knowing these five individuals, that they will have the answer that we’re looking for,” Whitson said.

Last spring, the town board voted 3-2 to authorize construction of a new, 7,200-square-foot, masonry-wall garage for an estimated $750,000. But more than 70 town residents, many of whom were concerned about the cost of the project, signed a petition against that decision, forcing a permissive referendum that was called off when the board rescinded its decision. Some residents and town board members suggested the town consider using different building materials to reduce the project’s price tag.

Whitson said he expects the committee will complete its review within a couple of months. Once the committee makes its recommendation, he said he’ll contact an architect the town has been working with to have him draw up plans for the new highway garage. Whitson said he hopes construction of the building will be complete by the end of the year.