December 6, 2021

Gaming tables pose puzzle for county building work

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Drew Bilodeau, left and Mark Anthony of McKinney Masonry of Cortland, create an opening Thursday in the south side of the Cortland County Office Building on Central Avenue to create a new main entrance in what is now the senior activities room.

McKinney Masonry workers began removing bricks and a window Thursday afternoon in the senior activities room at the Cortland County Office Building in space that will become the building’s main entrance for the public.

However, two very large problems remain — a shuffleboard and pool table.

They’re right in the way of where a new ramp will need to be installed and moving them would cost more than $1,000 each, said Elizabeth Haskins, director of the Area Agency on Aging, which runs the activities room.

Moving the shuffle board table would mean hiring a Utica company for $1,100, Haskins told legislators on the county’s Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday. The company could move the pool table for $1,200.

“The seniors just paid $800 out of their council funds to redo that table so it might be a good idea for us to pay that money,” Haskins said. “I reluctantly can use fundraising dollars for that — up to the coalition who will need to approve dollars.”

She said County Maintenance Supervisor Chuck Miller told her he believes his workers can move the pool table by sliding it down the hall.

“I’ll be calling the president of the Cortland council to see if they are in agreement with that,” Haskins said. “I anticipate they won’t be.”

But there are other issues with moving the shuffleboard, which the company concluded cannot come apart because it has springs and other complex parts, Haskins said.

So, where do you put it?

Haskins said it has to be in a controlled environment and so it would go into the dining room in the County Office Building.

How do you get it in that space?

The company would have to take the shuffle board out a window in the activities room, come around the outside of the building to the dining room, and bring it through an upper window there.

Committee Chairwoman Cathy Bischoff asked that Haskins and County Administrator Rob Corpora take the next couple of weeks to determine the best fiscally responsible way to move the objects.

Corpora said they must be moved within the next few weeks to finish the entryway ramp.

The entrance change is part of a $40,000 project to improve safety. Miller had said the idea is to have people enter into the new doorway, which is feet away from the current entrance, and pass through a metal detector that will be brought down from the Department of Social Service.

Pre-coronavirus, people would enter the building and sign in with an officer before heading to whichever department they needed to. The proposed idea would mean every visitor goes through the detector.

On top of that, Miller said the space would also be large enough to accommodate several small interview rooms, departments could use so fewer people would need to travel through the building.

Miller expects the work to take a month to a month and a half to complete.