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Planning, public works departments move into new building

Jan. 29—Employees of the Delaware County Planning and Department of Public Works departments are settling into their new offices in the new building on the corner of Bridge and Main streets in Delhi.

"It's 10 times better than what we used to have," Planning Director Shelly Johnson-Bennett said while giving a tour of the building. The brick building on Page Avenue had a leaky roof, crumbling bricks and was hard to heat. The new three-story building went through several different designs before it was approved by Johnson-Bennett and then DPW Commissioner Susan McIntyre.

The first floor holds the planning department. The planning department oversees the county's Geographic Information Systems/Community Online Mapping Information Tool lab, the Town Planning Advisory Service, which advises town planning boards on proposed projects, the County Planning Board, Environmental Planning, Hazard Mitigation Management plans, Watershed Affairs and the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board.

The GIS lab includes printers, cutters, computers and the department's drone. The lab is one of the busier offices of the building as lawyers, real estate agents and property owners use the office to map out property lines.

Another office holds county planners, an architect and an administrative assistant. The office allows for the employees to discuss their projects freely. The first floor also has two conference rooms and a break room. The conference rooms are available for the public to use.

The second and third floors are for the DPW administration and engineers. The second floor houses the administrative offices of the commissioner, his assistant, the Weights and Measures department and Solid Waste department. The third floor houses the engineer, storage and maintenance rooms.

The building was designed by Delaware Engineering D.P.C., Keystone Associates and Hesnor Engineering Associates, according to information found in a Daily Star archive story. The project started in 2021 and saw several setbacks because of supply chain issues, plumbing issues and sheetrock issues, Johnson-Bennett said.

The building is one of three buildings being built for the DPW. The one in Bloomville will house nine sand-and-salt plow trucks, a drive-on truck lift and will house the guiderail and sign making department. The new building in Walton will house the diesel equipment mechanics shop.

Once the mechanics move to their new building, the parking area they use will be paved and be used as the parking lot for the building. Johnson-Bennett wanted to dispel a rumor that the county was going to buy a neighboring building to tear down and build a parking lot.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.