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Adams outlines schedule for approving borrowing for fire hall expansion

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ADAMS — As the village Board of Trustees on Monday set up a timetable for a permissive referendum so it could borrow money to expand the fire hall, it also heard pointed criticism about the project’s costs.

Village Planning Board Chairman William J. Doe said that although the project is needed, the estimated price tag of more than $1 million “puts the village in dire straits, and especially the taxpayers.”

Pointing out other large costs the village is taking on by searching for water and paying for its new office building, Mr. Doe asked whether the project could be held until more money was available.

“It still comes down to 675 people,” he said. “That’s a small pool of people to be calling for money from.”

He also accused the village of informing the town of the project at the tail end, a claim Mayor Patricia C. Sweetland disputed.

“This is not a new project,” she said.

Ms. Sweetland said that the Fire Department is approaching a “danger point” for fitting its vehicles into the building and that “each year we put this off, we see the price go up.”

She added that the village’s 6 percent tax rate increase this year, from $6.68 to $7.10 per $1,000 of assessed value, was set so it could remain consistent for several years.

The projected costs of the project, Ms. Sweetland said, already have gone down by tapping village and town employees for some of the site work and may go down even further based on the bids that will be coming in from now to the middle of August.

A 30-day period for residents to petition against the funding will take place from July 10 to Aug. 12.

If a petition with enough signatures is submitted to the village by the end of the 30-day period, the borrowing will be put to a public vote at a date to be determined.

A public hearing about a potential referendum and the planned borrowing will take place July 15.

Advertising of bids for the project will begin July 18 and end Aug. 15.

If there is no public vote about the funding, the earliest the board could pass a bonding resolution and award the project is Aug. 19.

The board also approved a public hearing for the July 15 meeting to discuss a transfer of funds between village accounts to pay for road work on East Church Street.

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