To front the money for the restoration of Agawam Park's World War I monument, and to pay for the installation of an elevator at Village Hall and to renovate the second floor, the Southampton Village Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to issue a bond for up to $600,000.
The monument and Village Hall projects are unrelated, but because they arose at the same time the borrowing to fund each will happen in one fell swoop.
The Village Board decided in September that Southampton could no longer wait for donations to come in for the monument restoration, because the monument was rapidly deteriorating and setting the project aside for another winter would only lead to costs rising. The board voted that month to award a $284,000 contract for the restoration, after the village received just $27,000 to date in donations. Under the plan, when more donations eventually roll in, the village will be paid back.
The village will not necessarily expend the entire $600,000 authorized by the bond resolution. Village Administrator Stephen Funsch said the village is still finalizing what the exact costs will be and donations are still coming in for the monument.
In addition to contracting a company to install an elevator in the more than century-old three-story building, the village will also renovate the second floor of Village Hall so the Building Department can move back in after leaving for rented space on Hill Street in 2006. The second and third floors of the building have sat empty and gutted since the Police Department left in 2002 for a new facility on Windmill Lane.
The renovation of the third floor will come sometime in the future. Funsch said it will be easier to rent out the third floor to a tenant, rather than the second floor, and that renovating the second floor will be about $30,000 cheaper than the third floor.
The World War I monument was dedicated on Aug. 19, 1923, and was first renovated in 1993, according to a village brochure. The latest restoration aims to repair cracks and holes in the limestone, and address drainage issues that exacerbate deterioration. Limestone steps and pavers will be replaced, and granite pavers will be removed and saved.