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Town Races to Move Onatru Offices to Cross River

LEWISBORO, N.Y.  – Lewisboro town offices housed in the Onatru Farm House were supposed to move into a new space in the Orchard Square at Cross River shopper center in December, but the offices have yet to receive their certificate of occupancy and now town officials are in a race against time.

Renovations on the Onatru property to make it American with Disabilities Act compliant are scheduled to begin May 15, so employees need to be out and situated into their new offices by then. Those departments include the planning board, the zoning board of appeals, the assessor’s office, the architect and community review council and the housing committee. The court clerk’s office and the court itself – in the Town House in South Salem – also are part of the move to the Cross River space.

Supervisor Peter Parsons said there are two major obstacles preventing the new offices from receiving the needed certificate: the construction of Dumpster enclosures and the paving of the parking lot.

“It was part of the CO stipulation that they repair the parking lot,” Parsons said. “I think we have the right to except reasonable parking.”

Parsons also noted there are some interior issues that need to be addressed. He said one of the offices suffers from excessive noise caused by generators in an adjacent room that belongs to DeCicco Food Market and needs to be sound-proofed.

Parsons said there is no way all that work could be done by the time the Onatru offices need to be abandoned, but he said there is another option.

“The planning board is aware that [Cross Orchard] officials can’t get the repaving done in time,” he said. “But the alternative is that they can provide us with either a cash deposit or a letter of credit that is sufficient enough to cover the cost of the paving and for the CO to move forward.”

Parsons said this way, if the work is not completed as promised, the town can take the cash or money from the letter of credit and pay to have the work done.

“As soon as that’s done, we are going to sign an agreement with Light Path, the supplier of our telephone systems [to begin setting up phone systems],” he said. “All our residents should be able to contact our offices when they need to and we would like a seamless transition.”

Parsons said he is more concerned about the bidding process at Onatru then he was about the move to Orchard Park.

“[The move] is going to happen. When push comes to shove, I will find a way,” he said. “I am far more concerned that we have everything right with the bidding contract at Onatru. If we make some mistake on the bidding, it could derail the whole thing.”

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