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Lewis lawmakers table officeproject

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LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Board of Legislators on Tuesday held off on making a decision about the proposed $10 million county office building on Outer Stowe Street.

Holding a 21-page response to the State Environmental Quality Review Act that board members had just received, Legislator Philip C. Hathway, R-Harrisville, said, “It’s still warm.” He urged the board to table resolutions going forward with the project to allow time to review the environmental impact report from the state.

“It’s just logical that we should look at the SEQRA,” he said, suggesting that the public also be allowed to review it.

The board scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. Tuesday. Legislators will consider resolutions authorizing construction of the building at a maximum cost of $10 million and approving contracts for the work. Another resolution states that the project “will not result in any significant adverse environmental impact.”

Contracts would be awarded to the following bidders: Bette & Cring, Watertown, $4,771,500 for general construction; Burns Brothers Contracting, Potsdam, $1,020,000 for mechanical and $357,000 for plumbing; Jordstat Construction, Alexandria Bay, $977,138 for electrical; and Acts II Construction, Gouverneur, $1,717,000 for site work.

Legislator Jerry H. King, R-West Leyden, had requested the special meeting be scheduled for 48 hours ahead, the legal minimum of time allowed to give notice before scheduling such a meeting. That suggestion was immediately opposed by Mr. Hathway, legislature Vice Chairman William J. Burke, R-West Lowville, and Legislator Paul M. Stanford, D-Watson.

In other business, legislators voted 9-1, with Mr. Stanford opposed, to approve a $50,000 payment to the Lewis County Development Corp. to support the redevelopment of the old Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill site.

The funds are necessary, explained Legislator Richard C. Lucas, R-Barnes Corners, to receive two grants in the amounts of $300,000 and $1 million to show both public and private interest in the project, which would expand the adjacent hydroelectric facility owned by Kruger Energy. That company, he reported, has committed $650,000 for the project.

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