By HEATHER NELLIS
FONDA -- Montgomery County's print shop will be outfitted with two car lifts to raise the expensive printing press and cutter out of harm's way during floods.
The $12,500 purchase was approved at last week's board of supervisors meeting despite some dissension about spending that kind of cash, instead of just moving the print shop out of the flood plain. It's located in the basement of the county annex building on Park Street.
"Ideally, I'd like to be out of that building," Data Processing and Printing Department Director Daniel Colon admitted at the Nov. 19 Finance Committee meeting. "But, until that happens, it'll need another Band-Aid."
Flooding has destroyed the equipment in recent years, and replacing it has been costly, not to mention labor and man-hours, Colon said. In 2006, it cost $52,993 to replace the equipment, and another $29,510 in 2011.
The lifts, Colon argued, are less costly, and would spare the equipment should there be another catastrophic flood.
"If we think there's a flood coming, we can raise the equipment, walk away, and hopefully, we won't have a problem," Colon said. "It will save us time and money the next time around."
Colon had originally requested the purchase in his 2014 budget, but was able to rearrange funds in his current budget for the two car lifts.
Supervisors William Strevy, Barbara Wheeler, Jeffrey Stark and Thomas Quackenbush voted against the resolution, but it still passed.
"There's got to be a better way; a better room to put that equipment in," said Strevy, the Florida town supervisor. "I can't get behind that."
"I understand where Dan is coming from, but I can't vote to spend money like that," said Quackenbush, of Minden. "We need to correct the problem."
Quackenbush said in recent years, he suggested moving the press to Fulton-Montgomery Community College, for both counties' and the college's use. But, he said it never got past the discussion phase.
Amsterdam town Supervisor Thomas DiMezza said the issue highlights the need to move the county's operations.
"The floor of the basement is sand, and the safety officer said it's wet, and it's white. You know what white means -- mold. We have a cellar full of mold, but we're still in that building."
"We need to get rid of that building," DiMezza continued. "We had the opportunity years ago to put a building up on the hill, but unfortunately, the same supervisors who are voting against this resolution, are the same supervisors who voted against that. We're still harping, but I'm sure we'll just wait until after the next flood to move the equipment."