Homer Village Board Considering Addition to Village Offices
The Homer Village Board is once again looking at a proposed addition to the Village Office building on Main Street. The plan to expand comes after the village moved out the Town Hall amid employee health concerns.
About three years ago the village abandoned office space in the Homer Town Hall after village employees complained they were experiencing health problems related to the building. At that time the town was renovating the over 100 year old building installing new heating systems and making energy efficient improvements. The town spent over a million dollars to update the building, now a large portion of the office space on the first floor stands empty. Village employees filed worker’s compensation claims against the town and village, alleging that their sickness was a direct result of hazards in the building.
A review of the building by independent health and safety inspectors found no problems.
Despite the lack of findings the village relocated its offices to the former police station next to the firehouse. Since that time employees have been working in the smaller space, with the Village Board holding its monthly board meetings in the fire station.
Now Village Mayor Genevieve Suits is reviving a plan to add onto the current village offices, Suits says she would like to create a separate office for the Mayor and Village Clerk and would like to add a conference room for board meetings and other uses.
Suits says, the current space is too cramped and does not allow for private meetings, in addition the Village needs more storage areas.
Suits says there is $175 thousand dollars set aside in the current budget to fund a possible building project, she stressed that the Board of Trustees has not approved such a project and it is still in the discussion phase.
The board of trustees is planning a workshop to discuss the proposal, but a date has not yet been determined. The newsroom asked Suits if the village would consider returning to the Town Hall, she said the idea had not been discussed recently.
The newsroom spoke to Town Supervisor Fred Forbes who said the former village office space is still vacant and the Town would entertain a proposal to have the Village return to the space if the request came forward.