Munsey Park Village Hall restoration begins

Munsey Park Village Hall restoration begins
The Village of Munsey Park has set in motion work to be done on historic Village Hall.

The Village of Munsey Park is working toward the renovation of its historic Village Hall. The process began with the issuance of a Request for Proposal to potential contractors, resulting in three bids being received. The highest bid came in at $250,000, while the other bids amounted to $158,000 and $150,000.

Mayor Lawrence Ceriello expressed his concern over the high bid at the village Board of Trustees meeting on July 12, “That included a lot of stuff that in hindsight we won’t do, like changing the columns out front,” which cost $8,000 each. He further emphasized the need to explore options for reducing costs without compromising the integrity of the project.

The Village of Munsey Park has successfully obtained a $50,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the state’s public finance and construction authority. DASNY specializes in financing, designing and building health and education infrastructure to foster inclusive and sustainable communities.

One of the significant renovation aspects includes the replacement of windows. The village is considering salvaging windows from a dismantled village firehouse, estimating that around 10 windows may be suitable for reuse.

The exact cost of the renovation is not known, however. Ceriello explained that “the overall cost of the job is yet to be determined because I can’t get somebody in here to tell me how many windows we can reuse until we say ‘alright, we got the contract’ and I’m not going to give them the contract until I know what the job cost.” He added that the village is doing “apples to apples bidding” to ensure a fair comparison of bids.

The mayor said he is familiar with the work of Iannaccone Home Improvement Corp., which previously handled his house renovations and is currently constructing his house out east.

Moreover, the mayor expressed a desire to explore alternative waste disposal options to ensure cost-effectiveness. The village’s in-house sanitation department could potentially dispose of the construction garbage at a lower cost.

In addition to the windows, the renovation project will address other issues such as the degradation of gutters, which results in water seepage during heavy rain and subsequent basement damage. Some areas inside the building have experienced rotting due to water infiltration.

As the renovation plans move forward, the village of Munsey Park wants to refine the project’s scope. The next step involves consulting the Building Advisory Committee, which serves in an advisory capacity to the trustees, to seek their guidance on specific matters.

The history of the Village Hall began in May 1972, when the then Village Board authorized preliminary drawings for the construction of a Village Hall on the Sargent Place property that year. The Advisory Committee’s recommendation to proceed was accepted in August 1973, with the knowledge that the $60,000 cost would be offset by Federal Revenue Sharing Funds, sparing residents from any tax increases. Excavation work commenced in May 1974, and the building was completed six months later, culminating in an open house dedication.

Looking ahead, Ceriello recognizes the urgency of completing the renovations before winter weather arrives. “We really need to do it before the bad weather sets in in December,” he emphasized. However, there is a possibility that the work may not be concluded this year, he noted.

To finance the project, the village of Munsey Park plans to allocate approximately $125,000 from its own funds. Ceriello stressed the importance of addressing the building’s dilapidated exterior, saying “I’m stating the obvious here, but the outside of the building is atrocious, and I think at this point we just have to fix it.”

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