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Celoron Eyes Replacement Of DPW Building

The Celoron Highway Department building at 50 Gifford Ave. is pictured in August 2021, a day after a fire broke out. The building has been deemed a total loss. P-J file photo

CELORON — Less than a year after a fire destroyed Celoron’s Highway Department building, village officials have formally set sights on a new facility.

Mayor Scott Schrecengost said the village in recent months reached a settlement with its insurance provider. Doing so, he said, now allows the Celoron Village Board to seek bids for a contractor to construct a new highway building.

“We’ve finally got things resolved with the insurance,” Schrecengost said in a recent interview. “We are going to be sending out bids for a contractor on rebuilding.”

A faulty hot water tank inside a bathroom was blamed for the August 2021 blaze that destroyed the 50 Gifford Ave. property, which housed the village’s DPW equipment, including dump trucks and lawnmowers. Volunteer firefighters from a handful of departments were needed to put out the fire.

At present, the current building has been cleared of most items. Some equipment is being kept inside for safe storage until the property can be demolished.

Schrecengost said specifications for a new highway building have been put together. He hopes work can begin on clearing the land to make way for construction early next year.

“We’re hoping to start right after the frost is out of the ground,” he said. “It will probably take a year to be completed. Steel, it’s tough to come by as the price fluctuates all the time.”

The Celoron Village Board also has been discussing options for replacing a truck that was damaged in last year’s fire. During the past winter, the town of Ellicott helped with plowing until the village was able to have a truck damaged in the blaze overhauled and rebuilt for interim use.

Schrecengost said the village was finally able to get quotes for a new plow truck, though he doesn’t expect the new vehicle to arrive for about two years.

PUBLIC HEARING SET

A public hearing to review plans and collect input on a new playground at Lucille Ball Memorial Park has been set for 6 p.m. today at the Community Center, 47 Dunham Ave., Celoron.

The village is in the process of applying for a state Consolidated Funding Grant to help pay for the playground’s replacement.

Schrecengost previously said past funding applications have been denied; the state suggested a public hearing be held to go over plans for a new playground.

“We’ve been trying to upgrade for seven years,” the mayor said. “We file the grant paperwork all the time and get rejected all the time. It just doesn’t sound like our application is up to snuff.”

Over the years, rotted wood chips on the playground have clogged up the drainage system, causing the area to flood at times. It has resulted in a bevy of complaints from area residents.

“Putting (the playground) in a pit close to the lake was just looking for problems,” Schrecengost said.

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