'Good for the next 100 years': Renovations complete at Cohocton Town Hall
Town, E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library hold open house to show off latest improvement projects
ATLANTA — The Cohocton Town Hall and E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library teamed up to host an open house to talk about renovations and greet local officials.
On June 4 and 5 the community was invited to a gathering for public information on the renovations done at the Cohocton Town Hall. They also were able to see new plans for the local library.
Cohocton Town Supervisor Judi Hall offered a tour of the newly renovated building.
“We had people come to the open house with any questions they may have who might not be comfortable coming to the village board meetings. I am here most days 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and anyone with questions is welcome to come on in and see me,” Hall said about the open house.
Hall mentioned the details about the renovations done to secure the building.
“We had to take everything between the old ceiling in here upward to the very top roof. There were two sets of roofs in between. There was unfortunately a layer of asbestos. That had to be removed. The very top ceiling was in very good shape. They hung the false ceiling in here that they lowered a bit to make it cheaper to heat. We got new lights, too. The engineer told us we should be good for the next 100 years,” she said.
“It is very bright in here now. We made our bathroom handicap accessible. We put in new sinks,' she said. "We put in all new flooring downstairs. We changed some offices around. The police used to have a tiny little office. They moved downstairs in a much bigger office. The assessor came upstairs where she feels much happier. She never liked being down there. The code enforcer is downstairs next to the police. The bookkeeper office is now for the deputy clerk.”
Barry Fairbrother did all the flooring and the two bathrooms. R.W. Drake Project Manager Kyle Drum was the leader for the renovations to the ceiling and front room. The old bank vault is used for documents and to keep records now. There is a storage room with old records and files from the court and town hall.
Cohocton Town Clerk Tayonna Kinney and Cohocton Deputy Clerk Blair Hall are both responsible for equal work in keeping the records.
“I am responsible for the town records, processing dog licenses, permits, vital records, processing town and county taxes from January to March, taking monthly minutes for the ambulance and town board meetings, and handle water and sewer bills. Blair is equal in helping me with all of this work,” Kinney said. “Just the taxes is a lot to do for one person, so we do this job together. Blair is an excellent deputy. She has prior experience in politics. She also volunteers at the humane society.”
Kinney said one of the most important things is that the two of them collaborate with the code enforcement, police department, highway department, and court to maintain a good relationship with everyone.
“Judi is incredible. I love working alongside of her. She is a wonderful human being. She is kindhearted and smart. She truly loves the community. She always puts her heart and soul into this,” she said.
New plans for the library
Belinda Schuler, E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library director, detailed the new plans for the Cohocton library. The library is adding a new storage building.
“This will be a basic new storage building that will go out back. It will face the parking lot where we hope everyone will see the new Devin Snyder Memorial and a wooden American Flag on the building. We will use this storage building to house all the things we need for our programs and classes,” Schuler said. “I hope they will deliver the building to us at the end of the month. Harold Kiesl has been instrumental in getting this building to us. He did the entire planning and process to get this done. I know it will be done by local Amish builders.”
Schuler said the library continues to be a place for children and adults to come and feel safe. It is a sanctuary for the community. The library has become a family and good place to visit for the entire community.
Summer Programs are coming back in full swing with the wildlife refuge, police service dogs, and outside events. Community suppers will make a comeback in the fall. This quiet community is dusting off the COVID fever and getting back to normal.