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Accessible ramp still in works for St. Lawrence County building

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County will put back out to bid a ramp that will make its former Surrogate’s Building more accessible.

The work was supposed to take place this summer, but the county received only one bid and it was higher than the architect’s estimate, Governmental Services Director Michael J. Cunningham said.

The county will rebid the work next week.

“We have every intention of still doing it,” Mr. Cunningham said.

The county has planned for years to bring the building at Judson and Court streets — which was once Surrogate Court — into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it was always put off even though the county received a number of complaints.

The building is home to the Public Defender’s Office and the Board of Elections. Part of a $255,654, three-year grant obtained by Public Defender Stephen D. Button through the state Office of Indigent Legal Services will pay for the ramp and for other changes to make the building more accessible.

The Board of Elections moved its office staff earlier this year to the Canton Human Services building on Route 310 before it entered its busiest season of primaries and elections.

The plan is for the Board of Elections to return to its old office after the November election, but it would just as soon stay where it is. The space on the second floor of the building has an elevator for accessibility, Democratic Election Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon said.

The parking is more convenient for the public and the office fits in well with the Department of Motor Vehicles and Veterans Affairs, she said.

“We have made it very vocal we like where we are,” Mrs. Bacon said. “We do love it.”

But Mrs. Bacon said the county’s Space Committee will be the one that makes recommendations to the Board of Legislators for the final say.

“I don’t think anybody is ready to say we’re here permanently,” Mrs. Bacon said.

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