Officials eye renovation project

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County is considering hiring an Albany firm to do design evaluation for a possible future exterior renovation project at the historic County Courthouse.

The Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee on Monday approved a contract not to exceed $25,000 with Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Reservation LLP. The full board may finalize the contract Aug. 12.

The county has already begun working with Stephen Reilly, a partner with the firm.

“We visited the site,” county Superintendent of Highways and Facilities Mark Yost told the committee.

Yost said that he, county Planning Director Scott Henze, and Reilly came up with a scope of work involving an evaluation of designs.

Fulton County was notified during 2017-18 that it was successful in securing a State and Municipal Facilities Program, or SAMs grant and would be receiving $100,000 towards exterior renovations to the 1772-circa courthouse.

Yost said that based on meeting with Reilly, he is recommending a contract not to exceed $25,000 for “envelope investigation and reports.” The investigation would include base drawings. Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Reservation LLP would also develop a scope of work and produce bid documents.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the courthouse renovation won’t be extensive, but it must be done right for historic reasons.

“It’s a lot of minor work, painting, touching up wood,” Stead said.

Potential renovations include repainting all wordwork, replacing damaged wood and repointing brick mortar.

The project is part of a $125,000 2020 county capital plan. With approval of the contract, the plan would be reduced to $100,000.

In other matters impacting Yost’s department:

∫ The committee passed a possible resolution amending 2019 adopted highway budget revenues and appropriations. Yost said a July 3 letter notified his department the county will receive 2019-20 state Extreme Winter Recovery Funding. He said he wished to increase revenue by about $138,000. He said he wished to use the revenue for two purposes.

Yost said he wants to do a resurfacing project using $40,000 at Schell and Twin Churches Road in Oppenheim.

“I’d like to add that project to my road work this year,” he said.

Yost said the Oppenheim work is in the 2020 capital plan, but would like to complete it as soon as possible.

He said he wished to add the balance of $98,024 to a current County Highway 158 project. Soil conditions required extra excavation and embankment to provide a suitable foundation for the new intersection alignment, Yost said.

∫ In his operations report, Yost said the county has opened culverts plugged by beavers on County Highways 112, 119, 142A and 138. Crews also put a hot patch over a culvert on County Highway 119, and milled County Highways 138 and 150. Facilities crews replaced maintenance doors at the County Office Building; tested backflow preventers at the county jail, Board of Elections, and the county Department of Social Services; and assisted with a Smart Watt lighting project.

In projects for others, the county ditched for the city of Johnstown and helped pave for the town of Oppenheim.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at

By Patricia Older

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