DSS asbestos costs to climb

by Carol Thompson

Two members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee voted against the transfer of more money for the asbestos abatement project at the Department of Social Services complex in Mexico.

“I don’t know that I’m going to be able to support all this,” Legislator Jake Mulcahey said as a request for a capital project be amended to a maximum authorization of $1,566,341.

“I support moving out the employees, I support abating all the asbestos in the building and potentially replacing the carpets,” Mulcahey said, adding that he was not sure he could support everything else.

Asbestos was discovered in the ceiling tiles earlier this year, following a complaint reportedly made by an employee. County Administrator Phil Church told the committee that employees in the newer part of the building have also expressed concerns and that additional testing will be conducted.

While the state is expected to pick up 75 percent of the cost, taxpayers will contribute more than a quarter million dollars to the project.

The asbestos abatement is expected to cost $214,250 with the construction costs estimated to be slightly over $1 million.  The entire project is estimated to cost over $1.5 million.

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