Caroga could combine clubhouse, town hall

CAROGA — Preliminary to the Caroga Town Board meeting Wednesday, Supervisor Scott Horton stated: “The biggest news is that the town is considering combining the club house with a new town hall, avoiding renovating the existing 70 year old building, and saving the tax payers possibly a million or more dollars versus building two buildings, even though they may not be built at the same time.”

The former Caroga Municipal Golf Clubhouse was destroyed by fire in November 2020. A temporary clubhouse shed and rest room facilities were activated last month to carry on golfing for the 2021 season.

Town Councilman James Long concurred that a new town hall was needed due to the repairs and continued problems with the current facility, formerly Wheelerville Union Free School. In the minutes of the May 12 meeting, it was reported that the heating system in the current town hall was “limping along” and continued problems with mold, asbestos and roof repair could be solved with a new facility.

Horton said a new multi-purpose municipal complex could save $1.3 million between building costs and energy savings.

He said insurance from the fire would go a long ways towards a new building.

“Record keeping for insurance claims is monumental,” Horton said. “Insurance companies are sticklers for detail, but seem reasonable in their approach.”

In other business it was reported that grievance day was uneventful and the black fly control program was under budget.

Code enforcement reported 26 building and renovation permits were issued to date with $1,725 in fees collected.

Parks, Lakes, Recreation and Tourism Director Gene Centi stated lake weed harvesting was beginning with scuba divers. A discussion ensued as to whether Asian Milfoil harvesting could begin sooner, but Centi stated that the weeds needed to be more mature later in the season for proper harvesting.

Centi also stated that Sept. 4th there is to be fireworks set off behind the town post office as a tie-in to a concert held that day with Caroga Arts Collective ay Sherman’s Park.

Supervisor Horton stated that the town is “looking good” financially with a healthy fund balance and a “resurgence of interest in rural areas. There’s more revenue coming in with property values increasing. It’s good crazy.”

By Paul Wager