SARANAC LAKE - The village Board of Trustees agreed to cover some unexpected costs associated with several ongoing projects at its meeting Monday night.
Trustees unanimously approved a $17,900 change order for renovations to the Water Department building at 17 Main St., which will be the new home for Active Motif, a Lake Placid biotechnology company that will lease the space from the village.
The $17,900, which will be taken from the project's contingency account, will pay for additional reinforcement to the building's stairs and floor joists, ventilation improvements in the attic, repairs to damaged flashing and additional painting.
Trustee Allie Pelletieri noted that the village had already approved a $112,000 change order for the project in May, above the $363,000 it had set aside for the work using funds from last year's and this year's budget.
"How do we have any contingency funds left on this project?" Pelletieri asked. "How big was our contingency budget for this job?"
Treasurer Paul Ellis said the prior change order included additional funds for the contingency account.
Although he supported paying the extra $17,900, Pelletieri was still concerned.
"We spend a lot of money on engineering," he said. "Do we need different engineers? This job seems to be running quite a bit over budget."
Another change order, for $10,500, was approved to cover additional electrical work at the village's new water plant building. The building is just one part of the village's new $12.5 million water project, which includes a pair of wells drilled into the property behind the village wastewater treatment plant and a new water storage tank on the side of Mount Pisgah.
Sweeney said there's $232,000 left in the project's budget.
"We are still in good shape," he said.
Later, trustees unanimously approved an $800 change order for Fuller Excavating to cover additional work downtown associated with the village's sidewalk project.
Village Manager John Sweeney noted that the village's $1 million sidewalk project is "quite well" under budget, at roughly $775,000.
The village board also approved the hiring of a new account clerk to replace Jessica Sharlow, who recently resigned.
Ellis said the village is required to hire off the Franklin County Civil Service list. Five people were interviewed. He recommended Alana Sharland of Malone for the position, describing her as a very strong candidate with good references.
Mayor Clyde Rabideau asked if any local people applied. Ellis said there were two applicants on the list from Saranac Lake, but one withdrew and the other was not as qualified.
Ellis said Sharland is looking to relocate to the village. Trustee Paul Van Cott asked if her six-month probationary period could include a requirement that she relocate to Saranac Lake.
Ellis said that wouldn't be allowed because there was no residency requirement included in the job posting or listed as a civil service requirement for the job.
Sharland is the second person from Malone in as many months to be hired by the village. Jeff Dora of Malone, the village's new Department of Public Works superintendent, was hired in July. Village officials have said he also plans to relocate to Saranac Lake.