NEW SCOTLAND — The move of the historic Hilton Barn at LeVie Farm has been delayed by at least one week.
“We ran into a couple snags but it will be moved by the end of the month,” said Councilman Bill Hennessy during the Wednesday, March 9, Town Board meeting.
The board had planned to move the 100-year-old barn on March 15, but ran into a couple of unanticipated delays.
“There was much more structural wood in floors than expected and… we ran into a little asbestos problem,” explained Hennesey, as reasons for the delay. A pile of asbestos-infested tiles from the country club laid inside the barn has been removed by the town with additional costs. The only delay now is from the Pennsylvania-based historical barn movers, who needed more time to plan for the move than the town expected.
“The project budget is marvelous right now,” said Henessy. The budget includes donations from Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and the Voorheesville Community and School foundation, which have each set up funds for the barn’s move and eventual refurbishment. Each fund has raised over $1,000, and is receiving additional donations every day.
While the barn was initially slated for demolition by developers, it is being relocated to a new site along the Albany County Rail Trail, across the street from its current location on Route 85A. There, it will be able to provide any number of uses.
“The project is running along very smoothly,” said Hennessy, who not only said that costs are still under budget, but that additional funding from the state has likely been secured, on top of that secured from the county. March 21 through April 1 – a two week window – is the new time frame for the move. An exact date will be coming shortly, said the councilman. Residents should be aware that the portion of Route 85A between the barn’s current and new locations will be closed for several hours during the move.
Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy purchased the land for the barn’s future site from the two remaining Hilton heirs, George Kane and Jennifer Hilton. The purchase price of $25,000 will be split between them. Hilton has decided to donate her half of the sale proceeds – roughly $13,000 – towards expenses for the barn’s move.
National Grid, Verizon and Time Warner are aware of the time frame for the move, as each will have to move their lines in order to allow the barn to move across the street.
The town’s highway department is also ahead of schedule, even with the added work of clearing the barn’s new site, thanks to some assistance from Albany County.
With a $50,000 grant already received from the county, the Town Board announced that the remaining $125,000 grant from the state is “in its final phases” of approval. The supervisor will hear back in the next few months whether the grant will be received. If it is not, the town does have the money in its parks fund to pay the possible unfunded amount. Regardless, this fund – made up of developer fees and park use revenues – will be used: the state grant would allow the town to pay back the $125,000 over decades, rather than all at once.
“This is like a six- to 12-month project that we’ve condensed into about three months, and people are still asking us what the plans are for the future. We’ve had a lot of different people approach us with different scenarios and they could all work,” said Town Supervisor Doug LaGrange.
Councilwoman Pat Snyder is currently setting up a committee to publicly discuss the best use for the barn. “I’ve been approached by a lot of people, a lot of organizations, so I’ve certainly been surprised,” said Snyder, adding that other interested parties are welcome to contact her.
To be notified on a final move date for the barn: “Like us on Facebook – we’re trying to keep people up to date there as best we can,” said the supervisor.