DSS asbestos abatement costs remain a concern for legislators

by Carol Thompson

Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee raised concerns over the rising cost of removing asbestos ceiling tiles from the Department of Social Services complex located in Mexico.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the committee approved a capital project of $1.5 million, which is the cost of asbestos abatement and the relocation of staff to a temporary facility.

The state will pay 75 percent of the cost with the local share at $366,585.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey expressed concerns with the rising cost of the project. Legislator Robert Hayes said that the legislators can chose to eliminate certain items from the project that may not be deemed necessary.

“We can throughout this project, not do something on the list,” said Hayes. “That’s my understanding.”

County Administrator Phil Church clarified that each component of the project will be bid out and legislators can review those bids and approve or disapprove.

“You can indicate what work you want done through the bidding process,” he said.

Church said the legislature can reject any part of the bid. He added that each bid could be structured with different components.

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