Town Board Summary of 5/17/22 Board Meeting

At our Town Board meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, we held an open public hearing to address zoning and finance issues related to the planned renovations of the Gallatin Town Hall.  While the official documentation of that meeting will be in the approved minutes that will be prepared by the Town Clerk, we wanted to provide information to as many residents as possible who were not able to attend or call into the meeting.

Again, these are not the official minutes but we hope that it gives you an idea of the important points made at that meeting.

Existing Town Hall:

  • 3,750 square foot structure including first-floor offices (1,500 sq. ft.), partial basement used for storage of official Town files (1,500 sq. ft.), and the former Gallatin Schoolhouse (750 sq. ft.) that serves as a meeting room.
  • The first-floor office and basement were added to the original schoolhouse building in two stages in 1974 and 2000, and are not in good repair, requiring a new roof and the existing office space is poorly configured. The basement, which houses important files, is subject to moisture and mold and is not ADA compliant as the only access if by a flight of open rough wood stairs.  The foundation under the schoolhouse structure, made of stone and cinderblock, is not stable.

Vision for the Future Town Hall:

  • Maintain the original schoolhouse structure, replace the foundation with a slab configured to the new layout, and restore as much of the historical features as possible.
  • Expand the meeting room in the schoolhouse to a larger multi-use room and kitchen facilities to provide space for our various boards, as well as community use for all residents including our seniors. This would allow us to better respond to the needs of our residents in emergencies, provide basic services, and educational, social, and recreational programs for all.
  • Instead of a gut renovation of the office space, it was determined that a better building on the existing site with better parking would be the more cost-efficient option.
  • David Hess, an architect and town resident, graciously volunteered to assist the town in developing this vision that would allow us to begin the process of securing grants and funding to pay for this ambitious project. As envisioned, the new structure would be approximately 3,000 square feet, energy efficient and sustainable, and provide better parking for our residents.  With the existing schoolhouse, the entire Town Hall complex will be approximately 3,750 feet above ground – the same total square footage that currently exists with the exception of moving the town files above ground as required by ADA accessibility rules.


  • Town Board felt that before moving ahead with actual plans for the building, we should ensure that the funds were available for this undertaking.
  • A State and Municipal Grant of $250,000 was received through the efforts of our Assembly Member, Didi Barrett, that may be used toward the renovations of the schoolhouse building.
  • In addition to the $250,000 grant, $700,000 in our Capital Improvement Reserves and up to $150,0000 unallocated cash will be used for this project (the $150,000 will be covered by anticipated increases in sales tax revenue, ARPA funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act, and any unsolicited donations received from the community).
  • The total budget is estimate will be approximately $1,500,000-1,600,000 The remaining $500,000 will be secured by the issuance of serial bonds of the Town of Gallatin repayable over fifteen-twenty years.
  • A resolution to secure this bond was approved by the Town Board at the May 17th meeting, and will take effect after thirty days. During that thirty-day period, a petition protesting the resolution signed by residents equal to 5% of the total votes cast for governor in the Town at the last general elections and presented to the Town Clerk, will require a referendum on the resolution.

Other Steps Taken:

  • The Town Board undertook a review of the Town Hall renovation project, taking into account the nine factors to determine whether and to what extend the Town of Gallatin’s Zoning Law applies to the project, taking into account the nine factors set forth in settled case law in the Matter of County of Monroe Vs. City of Rochester. As a result of the review, the Town Board determined that this project met all nine criteria, and approved a resolution to make this project immune for the application of the Town’s Zoning Law.
  • Over the course of the last two months, the Town Board completed the required three parts of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Assessment, which include Part I – Project Information, Part II – Impact Assessment, and Part III – Determination of Significance.
  • As this project is making use of the existing site for the for the existing purpose, it was determined that the proposed action will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts.

Future Steps

  • Once the funding is secure, the Town Board will secure the services of an Engineer to assist with actual site plan, help us determine if it would be more advisable to use a prefabricated structure or on-site construction and help us with any Requests for Proposals that are necessary to plan, design, and complete this project.


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