GREENPORT — Columbia County is bidding for engineering consultants to help renovate and possibly repurpose space on Route 23B in Greenport that houses several offices and a county garage.
The County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Sept. 13 authorizing a request for proposal for design services, administrative services and construction inspection services for the county highway garage.
“We have talked about doing something with the garage for a while. The building is quite old,” said Stuyvesant Town Supervisor Ronald Knott, chairman of the Public Works Committee. “We are looking for consultants to analyze the space we have there and any space we may need, and what we can do with it.”
The main hub of the county’s highway department, the garage was constructed in 1934 and is 19,200 square feet in area with two 30-foot-by-40-foot wings, which is bigger than it originally was after several attempts to accommodate more equipment and modern technology.
“Modern day equipment, especially the plow trucks and specialty equipment, such as hydraulic Gradall excavators, require much more room for storage and repair than in 1934,” according to the county’s request for proposal. “Consequently, this has placed a significant strain on the outpost function and maintenance facility function within this garage. The county’s outpost function barely fits within the garage and the maintenance facility has been pigeonholed to less than 1,000 square feet.”
The building houses the highway department administrative offices, the mechanic shop for the county’s equipment and vehicles, the countywide sign shop and vehicles and equipment that will be housed at 50 Grandinetti Drive, which the county recently purchased from Almstead Realty Company, Inc., for $840,000.
“The sign shop, which makes all the county signs now, needs room to expand,” Knott said. “We also need room for vehicles.”
The county recently rebuilt the roof of the garage, but Knott said the garage needs other renovations commonly required for old buildings.
“It needs new windows, insulation and heating,” Knott said. “We could make it more energy-efficient and possibly get funding from the state for that.”
Knott said the county is looking for engineers who are familiar with renovating garage spaces such as the garage on Route 23 to provide plans to renovate the existing space or even add more space to the property.
“We’re looking for quotes from interested bidders. We do not have a maximum limit,” Knott said. “There is going to be a pretty good expense on this.”