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Town of Byron officials say 'time is now' to replace 60-year-old highway garage

By Mike Pettinella




As he prepares for a second public informational meeting early next month, Byron Town Supervisor Peter Yasses says he is optimistic that residents will vote in favor of the construction of a new highway garage on Route 237, a proposed $1.895 million project that he believes is long overdue.

“We’ve kicked the can down the road for much too long,” Yasses said on Friday as he pointed out what he sees as the “cramped, inadequate and unsafe conditions” at the current six-bay, block building that was built in 1957. “This was first talked about in 1974, and here we are over 40 years later.”

Yasses said the town’s four full-time employees and one part-time employee in the Highway Department are working in a building that isn’t big enough to properly park its three 10-wheelers, one single-axle vehicle and its loader and, more importantly, is riddled with safety issues.

Part of a committee of six people who have researched the situation, Yasses said architects and engineers advised that the only route to go is to demolish about 80 percent of the structure – converting the loader bay into office and break room space – and erecting a slightly larger steel building.

The current building’s dimensions are about 40- by 113-feet; the new building would measure 63- by 152-feet and have seven bays – four for trucks, one for the loader, a spare bay and one for maintenance and repairs.

The purchase of a small crane for lifting and assisting in equipment repair also is part of the project, which will have tax implications – the specific amount undetermined due to grant applications that are pending, Yasses said.

He did estimate that the taxpayer would be looking at an increase of $5 to $6 per month based on a house assessed between $88,000 and $100,000.

“The Town Board understands that the project is costly, however, interest rates are at an all-time low – costs are increasing yearly – and the town cannot afford to wait,” Yasses said.

The supervisor outlined a lengthy list of reasons to take action at this time, including the narrow width and low height of the current bays (which have forced workers to park vehicles sideways and put holes in the walls to make room for the plows), inadequate heating and ventilation, deteriorating windows and doors, and building code violations.

“It’s energy inefficient. The warmest it gets in there is 55 degrees and it’s not compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), but the number one reason is the safety of our employees,” Yasses said. “The building is unsafe.”

The new building would have heated floors -- which will help the plow trucks dry out in the winter -- and radiant heat in the ceiling.

Yasses said the committee has been working with Town Engineer Paul Chatfield’s firm and Wolfe Architecture of Honeoye Falls.

A public PowerPoint presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Town Hall, 7028 Route 237 – next door to the highway garage. A permissive referendum vote is scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Town Hall. All town residents age 18 and over are eligible to vote, Yasses said, as long as they show proof of residency.

Other committee members are David Starowitz, a retired town employee; Jack Reddick, a past Town Board member; Brian Forsyth, highway superintendent; Bill Kennett, current town employee; and Town Councilman Jeff Thompson.

Yasses said if the project passes, he expects the building to be taken down this spring and completed by mid-November at the latest.

Photos -- Top, inside of Town of Byron highway garage on Route 237; Middle, Byron Town Supervisor and employee Todd Cargill pointing to scrapes on the bay opening caused by vehicles getting in and out of the building; Bottom, hole in back wall of garage needed to make room for plow blade. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

david spaulding

since it's in the article, i'll take a jab at the ADA, one of the worst things to happen to this country. however I am trying to find some disability to hide behind so I can cash in too.

Jan 28, 2017, 1:21pm Permalink

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