By John Anderson, 9/9/21
Former Wellsville Town Supervisor Darwin Fanton had a vision to build a new Town of Wellsville Municipal Building. Even though it’s been six years since he presided over a meeting, his vision – and more importantly – fiscal vision, made that happen today as work has started.
Wednesday night, a resolution to move $25,000 from the building reserve fund to an active building construction was approved, 5-0, which will help Alfred State College students continue work on the project.
The town has moved from the basement of the old municipal building on Main Street to the Wellsville Municipal Airport, where the clerk, town supervisor, assessor, and code enforcement are on the second floor.
The new offices will be on Hanover Street next to the Town of Wellsville Highway Department on the land most commonly known as the former Recio’s Pepsi building.
Wellsville Town Supervisor Shad Alsworth said Fanton started a building reserve account 15 years ago. Fanton served the town for 22 years.
“This was his dream that never came to fruition, but he set up a reserve account that we’ve added to each year,” said Alsworth. “The one building (to the right of the building) which has highway equipment will be gone, eventually. This will house the highway department and every office for the town.
“The clerk not only assists Wellsville residents, but sells dump passes and licenses to people from all over the county. There is a lot more activity than any other clerk’s office in the county,” Alsworth added.
Originally, the price tag looked to be around $1 million for the project.
However, with the help of students from Alfred State and work by the Village of Wellsville public works department, Alsworth is hoping the project comes in at $500,000.
Of that, taxpayers could be looking at paying $200,000 after a bond, despite the increased cost of lumber from the first estimate of the building.
Alsworth said Wednesday the town expects grants totalling $260,000.
Board members Michael Miller, Patricia Graves, Jesse Case and William Fish all approved the $25,000.
Highway Supervisor Dean Arnold and Jack Jones, who is a town consultant and oversees the Alfred State homes as a building and trade chair for the college, met with Alsworth and a representative from the engineering firm Clark Patterson Lee.
“Part of that discussion was materials and needs we would immediately have to address and what the college students need to complete the project,” said Alworth. “We also need to give kudos to the village and the DPW staff for working with the staff to accomplish this. The town really appreciates everything they have done to help us.”
North Main Lumber in Wellsville won a bid for some supplies for the project.
Jones said during the first week of classes at the Wellsville campus of Alfred State, “students were told about the building. This week they checked out the site and set two corner posts on the East end of the building.”
Jones said work will continue this week with three or four classes working with instructors.