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Discussion approaches on Town Hall work

Much of the work stands as outlined about a year ago. The space housing the Human Resources Department and Comptroller's offices would be renovated and expanded to make room for two employees that were added there in early 2010. The Police Department's Youth Bureau would be shifted from offices on the second floor to the first to accommodate the expansion.

Customer windows (similar to the one at the Town Clerk's office) would be added at the Department of Public Works and the Building Department. Conference rooms would see renovations, as well.

New to the scope of work are renovations to the Police Department's detention area. The town had been told by the state Commissioner of Correction that the area must be upgraded to fit the definition of a "lockup," which under state law must meet a host of physical, procedural and reporting requirements.

Since being contacted in October of last year, the department has allowed the town to continue operating the cells as a holding area, but it will be reviewing the matter in April. The Police Department has issued a directive that prisoners only be held for one hour before being processed and released or remanded to the county jail.

"The thought here was with the project underway...it was clearly advisable to do this now," Deyoe said.

Under the proposal, the holding cells would be reinforced, fixtures would be replaced and the holding cell doors would be replaced with sturdier designs.

The Town Board didn't discuss the interior renovations at Wednesday's meeting ("We're not prepared to act on this now," said Messina), but when the project was discussed in April of last year some board members said the interior work was unnecessary. This delayed the entire package, including the exterior repairs, through the summer into August, when design work was finally approved.

The town has in the past investigated the possibility of moving into a new Town Hall, but the viability of a move is unclear given the ongoing recession.""

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