Lyons, N.Y. - How many jobs does a $600,000 elevator create?
That’s one of the questions this 13WHAM Waste Watch Report attempts to answer.
The project is partially funded with a $300,000 grant from New York State awarded to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council in December. The Regional Councils, now in their second year, are how the state awards funds for projects touted as “job creators.”
This project is titled the “9 Pearl Street Accessibility Project” and in the description, it states that “Wayne County will install an elevator to service the second floor of County Office Building #3…to bring the building into American Disabilities Act compliance…(and to) enable the second floor of the building to fully serve the public.”
Wayne County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Hoffman met 13WHAM News in Lyons outside that building to explain the project. We began by asking him if he thought $300,000 was expensive for an elevator?
“Well, I think it is. It is expensive, yes,” Hoffman said while also explaining that the county plans to match the state’s grant for a total cost of $600,000. “While we believe it to be six-hundred (thousand) we're optimistic it could be a little bit less, but those are our best guesstimates."
When asked if he knew why the elevator was so expensive Hoffman replied, “No, I guess I really don't. I just don't have any idea, I've been aware that it's been very expensive because it's been discussed, but at this point I couldn't tell you why."
As it turns out, elevators for municipal buildings are very expensive. 13WHAM News found one Upstate New York County Executive who recently received a similar quote for a two-story elevator project in another county; only that quote was closer to $700,000 for the total cost of the project.
Todd LaBarr is the President of Watchdog Building Partners, a contracting firm that handles many municipal projects in Wayne County and elsewhere. He was not surprised by the county’s estimated cost.
“No, not in today's construction place," LaBarrr said. "Generally it's a retro-fit to an existing building, if you're dealing with public entity buildings there's prevailing wage rates that come into play and the cost of construction of an elevator within a facility is very costly."