Complications Continue In Town Hall Relocation

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

As a result of the black mold infestation in New Paltz Town Hall earlier in the  year, the New Paltz Town Board has moved to Clifton Park-based ModSpace on Clearwater Road. However, upon move-in, it was found that the electrical services may need to be upgraded due to insufficient power requirements.

“The modulars are up and running, however a quarter of the building still has no electricity or heat,” New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet said.

According to Zimet, the Town Board is completely migrated and functioning, though not to its full capacity. After the black mold infestation there was also concern for the documents left behind in the abandoned town hall. However, Zimet said that the board decided it was best to not pay the large amount of money necessary to move these files and documents to a storage unit.

New Paltz Highway Superintendent Chris Marx said in an article in The Daily Freeman that the Town Board is working with Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. to fix the issues in the modulars with no extra cost to the board itself. Although the office is temporary, Zimet and the rest of the town board feels it is important to make the space a safe and functional environment.

“This is temporary but if we can come up with a plan in the next year, we can then hopefully be here for only three years as opposed to 20,” Zimet said. “These are good temporary offices from a health prospective, although inconvenient because it is out of town.”

Previous issues in the old town hall caused by the black mold infestation included reports of rashes and uneasy breathing. This posed a health issue and was an unsafe environment for those working in Town Hall, hence the move. According to an article in The Daily Freeman, it cost $3,800 per month to rent nine modular units from ModSpace. The vacated town hall has been locked up and is not to be reentered until further notice.

A concern with the environmental friendliness of the modular is also a factor concerning the energy usage of the units. The heat is supplied via electricity, therefore a lot of energy is used to keep the large space warm.

“Unfortunately we are not being environmentally friendly in terms of energy efficiency,” Zimet said. “The goal is to create a carbon neutral new town hall.”

Board members are working in the new modular space currently, however, plans for more permanent offices are in the works, Zimet said.