Old County Courthouse needs emergency repairs

Photo by Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0 (changes made)

The roof on Montgomery County’s old courthouse needs to be fixed or replaced, and county Public Works Commissioner Paul Clayburn has at least a ballpark idea of what the work will cost.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the County Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee, County Executive Matthew Ossenfort apologized for not having a formal resolution ready, but said the roof’s condition constituted an emergency. Clayburn said that with the Legislature’s support, he hoped for bids to be opened during the day on Sept. 30, prior to the board’s meeting that evening.

“The old courthouse roof is in need of repair, and it has gotten worse,” Ossenfort told legislators. “Paul [Clayburn] has done some estimates. I’d like to see us act and put this behind us.”

Clayburn said repairing the roof could cost about $20,000. Replacing the roof could cost $72,000, including elimination of a “hip”–a change in the angle of a portion of the roof.

The old courthouse is located on Park Street in Fonda and is home to the Department of History and Archives, the Board of Elections and the Department of Economic Development and Planning. The building is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Clayburn said eliminating the hip on the roof would not affect the historical significance of the building.

“It’s not going to change the aesthetics,” he said.

Clayburn said a roof repair would have a life span of about 12 years; a replacement roof would last twice that long.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.