Danby to look at church for town office
By SANDI SWITZER
Correspondent | March 11,2013
DANBY — Chip Wright will take the helm of the Danby Select Board for another year.
Wright was the only member of the municipal board nominated Thursday for the chairman post during the annual reorganizational meeting.
William Gormley was named board member in charge of roads, and newly elected Selectman Dan Garceau was appointed secretary in charge of taking minutes at special meetings.
The board discussed changing monthly meetings from the first to second Thursday of each month in order to give the town treasurer more time to prepare monthly financial statements for the board.
However, scheduling conflicts with the date delayed a decision and the board is expected to revisit the matter next month.
Following the administrative actions, the Select Board fielded questions from a resident, Rosalie Bush, about the potential acquisition of Holy Trinity Church in the village for use as town offices.
Bush shared concerns she had heard from other residents regarding structural, roof and asbestos issues with the building. She also questioned whether the town had been in contact with the Catholic diocese to find out if they wanted to sell it.
Wright responded the town had exchanged letters with the diocese, including a document sent in January requesting “right of first refusal” in order to give voters the chance to address the matter at town meeting.
Residents voted to authorize the town to pursue rehabilitation and relocation for town offices by a 231-194 vote.
Wright and Garceau indicated the entire effort was in the preliminary phase and no decisions had been made. The board chairman noted a committee comprised of local residents would likely be formed to “pursue it further.”
Selectwoman Margo Stone added a special meeting would be scheduled to gather local input before any decisions were made.
“The next big step is to come up with a deal with the diocese and the town to acquire the church,” Wright said. He stressed the town was interested in acquiring, not purchasing, the structure.