The town of Irondequoit joined various partners in government to formally break ground on a new modern facility for its Department of Public Works.
When completed, the facility will replace the outdated structure, much of which was destroyed by a 2016 Christmas Eve fire. The past 15 months have involved an extensive process to acquire land, finance and commence construction on a new facility that, when finished, will double the size of the outdated current DPW garage on the Town Hall campus.
“On Christmas Day 2016, I remarked that we would emerge from the devastating fire as a stronger town,” said Supervisor Dave Seeley. “Our Department of Public Works provides an invaluable service to our residents, and works every day to preserve and protect our quality of life in Irondequoit. Working with our government partners, we have taken a large setback and worked to build a more stable future for our town.”
Within hours after the 2016 fire, the town engaged the New York State Department of Transportation to initiate a process of acquiring land near the NY-590/NY-104 interchange, in the event the town elected to build a facility on that site. In the spring of 2017, the Town Board accepted the recommendation of an ad hoc facility that identified the state property as the best alternative for a new facility. Earlier this year, the town formally acquired the property via a land swap.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the resilient spirit and unwavering commitment of Supervisor Seeley and his team at Town Hall,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle. “Despite unprecedented challenges they never lost sight of what was most important — serving our community and meeting the needs of all Irondequoit residents. Once completed, the new Department of Public Works facility will be yet another symbol of the progress we are making as a community.”
“As the second largest town in Monroe County with more than 50,000 residents, it is imperative that Irondequoit have an appropriate facility that will meet the needs of residents,” said Sen. Rich Funke. “That is why I went to bat for Irondequoit in securing a $1 million grant that will help pay for the new building that will house their Department of Public Works.”
“This transaction between the town of Irondequoit and the State Department of Transportation is a win-win for all those involved,” said Acting State Department of Transportation Commissioner Paul A. Karas. “The Department of Transportation was able to hand over a surplus property that the town could make tremendous use of immediately, and in exchange we are taking over land that will be used to stage maintenance crews in emergency scenarios near one of the area’s busiest highway interchanges. This partnership not only benefits the government agencies involved, but the people we collectively serve.”
The 74,000 square-foot facility will provide a more suitable location for the 70-member DPW and its more than 100 vehicles. The current location has long been in disrepair, but is simply too small and not conducive for suitable operation.
The 590-site has long been eyed as a potential location for a new DPW facility. Most recently, the 2014 Comprehensive Plan referenced the potential of the location to house a new headquarters for the Department. Additionally, in removing the current industrial like DPW facility from its current location, the Town Board will soon commence a master planning process for the property to determine the best way to achieve the dream of creating a true Town Hall campus.
The new facility will cost an estimated $15 million, which includes costs already incurred for land acquisition from Monroe County, site preparation and other “soft” costs. The town recovered several million dollars in its insurance claim portion of which went towards rebuilding the fleet and replacing lost tools and equipment. About $4 million in insurance recovery will be used for the building, the balance of which will be financed through state grants, town fund balance and bond proceeds.
The facility is expected to be open in the fall of 2019.