Lewis County Considers New Office Building

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The Lewis County Office for the Aging, the county Board of Elections and plenty more.

They're not in any county-owned building but in rented buildings, including a former school. 

So what happens if they get kicked out?

"All the buildings that we presently rent or lease are for sale. And you know, it gives you a kind of uneasy feeling," said Jack Bush, chair of the county Legislature's Buildings and Grounds Committee.

So now the county is dusting off a two year old plan for a new county office building.

It would be right next to the public safety building and, with other county buildings nearby, it could create sort of a county campus.

"It makes things much easier and faster and cheaper to maintain," said Bush.

The county offices at the former school aren't the only ones that might be making the move.

The Social Services Department would be the major occupant.

That would get the state on board to pay for about half the project.

And, the plan calls for moving the dispatch center into the new building. 

The sheriff reserves comment because he hasn't seen the plan, but says there's no doubt about the need to move.

"It's over 25 years old. Much of the radio parts inside the system, we can't get parts to replace them," said Sheriff Mike Carpinelli.

Some lawmakers say this should be an easy decision.

"I don't really think there's really that much politics in it. I think it's just plain reality," said Bush.

If the project is approved, construction could get started later this year.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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