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Potsdam Town Hall nearly complete

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POTSDAM — Town government will be able to open the new year by moving to a new building. The Potsdam Town Hall is nearly complete, and officials plan to pack up their offices and move in during January.

“We’re right on schedule,” said Edward J. Harvey, vice president of Harvey Excavation and Construction.

The $1.8 million project at 13 Elm St. will be complete on Dec. 4. About 95 percent of the work has been finished, according to Mr. Harvey. Painting is nearly complete, and once flooring has been installed and the finishing touches have been placed on the mechanical and electrical work, town hall will be ready for occupants.

“Everything is coming along,” Mr. Harvey said.

The town began renting temporary office space at 12 Elm St. in February after deciding to renovate the previous town hall, at 35 Market St., to turn it into a courthouse while the new permanent town hall was under construction.

The building has been funded entirely through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy, now Brascan Hydro.

This money can be used only for capital projects.

The old location was outdated and too cramped to hold both the town offices and the town court, according to town officials. Plans to construct a town hall have been in the works for more than five years. An early plan, for a $3.2 million combined town hall and town court, was shot down in a 2008 referendum by voters worried the project would raise their taxes and leave a vacancy at 35 Market St.

The current plan was created as a compromise. The project has not raised taxes and the court will remain in its current location. Some community members still protested the construction with a banner outside 18 Elm St. shortly after work began in July.

In addition to the new town offices, the building will house a community kitchen. The space will be available to rent for community dinners and other events.

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