LITTLE VALLEY — It looks like Cattaraugus County won’t be on the hook for the entire cost of demolishing the former Masonic Temple in Otto after all.
After the county foreclosed earlier this year on the three-story stone building at 8197 South Hill Road for nonpayment of taxes, the building was found to be structurally unsound and was condemned.
County lawmakers on Wednesday awarded a demolition contract for $69,200 to HH Rauh Contracting Co., Ashville to demolish the building located in the center of the hamlet of Otto.
District 1 Legislator Andrew Burr explained to legislators that the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York would contribute $25,000 to the building’s demolition. The Town of Otto will also pay a portion of the demolition costs, he said.
Demolition could begin as early as today, Burr said.
County Public Works officials had notified the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation of the need to demolish the structurally unsafe building.
Attempts will be made to preserve historic elements of the Masonic Lodge.
The building housed the former Clinton Paige Lodge No. 620, but has not been occupied in several years. It is without heat and there is considerable water damage.
The County Legislature’s Public Works Committee authorized the building’s emergency demolition last month. The building has been declared free of asbestos.
County lawmakers agreed to hire Wendel WD, Architecture, Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, Williamsville to prepare a Handicapped Accessibility Action Plan for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The plan will cover both the County Center in Little Valley and the Olean Office Facility and centers on replacing the buildings’ door knobs with ADA-compliant lever handles.
The locksets may also have to be replaced.
Included in the 2020 Capital Plan is $400,000 that officials estimate the door knob replacement program will cost.
Another resolution tasks Wendel WD with developing plans replacement of the fire alarm system at the Machias Campus of the Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and improvements to the sanitary and storm sewers.
Legislators also contracted with a Buffalo firm, Greenman-Pedersen Inc. to help Public Works officials with preparing a Comprehensive Local Solid Waste Management Plan.
The county’s Local Solid Waste Management Plan has not been updated since 1992.
A four-year contract was approved to collect and monitor water data at the county’s closed Farwell landfill in Ischua and Five Points landfill in Mansfield. The annual cost will be $2,178 through 2023.
On another resolution, legislators called for submitting a Community Development Block Grant application for a countywide water well and septic replacement program.
The county Health Department helps administer the program, which has helped dozens of eligible homeowners with expensive well or septic replacement.