Last week the TOMVAC renovation project got a much needed shot in the arm; $375,000 from State Senator James Skoufis and $175,000 from Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson. This money, along with $250,000 that was previously secured by the late Assemblyman Frank Skartados, brings the total to $800,000, which is expected to cover the amount needed to complete the project.
The two recent grants were obtained through the New York State and Municipal Facilities Program, which is used to fund capital projects. It may take more than a year, however, for the town to actually receive the money for the project.
Supervisor Al Lanzetta said once the town signs a contract with the state, they have to proceed according to the stipulations in Wicks Law.
“We have to do everything in separate bids; the construction, plumbing, electrical, and heating and air-conditioning. Then you hire an overall contractor who does all of the framing, the roof and stuff,” he said. Wicks Law was enacted 1924 for publicly funded projects over $50,000.
Lanzetta said a town committee, along with assistance from Phil Bell of Bell Engineering, developed the idea of having two sections inside of the building – a part for recreation and another portion for a community room. After this plan was advanced, the Town Board approved a resolution to obtain the $250,000 that Skartados had obtained. This will also be done for the recent grants, with all of the appropriate paperwork filed.
Upon accepting the checks in front of the TOMVAC building, Lanzetta recalled that the Town of Marlborough Ambulance Corps served the community well for nearly 40 years and at the end of their service they donated the building to the town.
After the Town Board voted 3-2 to sell the building, residents voted overwhelmingly to keep the building in a public referendum. Lanzetta said the design plans, “will meet the needs of the people now and well into the future. Thanks to our newly elected representatives we are now closer to making this vision a reality.”
Sen. Skoufis said, “we are here bearing good news” that he and Jacobson obtained the remaining amount of money needed, “to move this plan forward, make it a reality and finally turn this building into a community center...Certainly everyone, whether you are young or old, will be using the space. Everybody, I believe, will be delighted to finally transform this historic building into a viable, vibrant space once again.”
Sen. Skoufis stressed that the total of $800,000 will completely cover the renovations and, “not a dime will come from local taxpayers; all of this has come from state funding.”
Assemblyman Jacobson said the money may come sooner rather than later because of the determination of Supervisor Al Lanzetta.
“Al has been relentless in his advocacy for this thing; he is the epitome of the squeaky-wheel,”Jacobson said. “I win the primary and he says congratulations you know we need this community center money. Then I win the election and he says congratulations, we need this community center money. Then it was New Year’s and he said we need this money.”
Jacobson said Lanzetta believes this project, “is necessary, the public wants it and it’s a way to really be of service for all the citizens of Marlborough. I am really happy to be a part of this. The money will cover the costs and we’re just thrilled to be here to do it.”