Asharoken’s new Village Hall has got it all, according to Mayor Greg Letica.
Letica said the new structure is nearly three times larger than the old building — the ground floor is approximately 3,000 square feet. Most of that is made up of the village clerk’s office, an office for Letica, a small conference room, a kitchen and the village trustees’ meeting room.
The rest of the first floor and the second floor are spaces for the police department, including an office, an interview room, a locker room and storage.
Letica said the police department had about 120 square feet inside the old Village Hall, so its wish list was a bit bigger for the new building.
“There was no interview room, no office; there was no nothing,” Letica said.
Both the police department and the village clerk’s office moved into the new building about a month ago.
According to the mayor, this new Village Hall would not be possible if it weren’t for the involvement of village residents. The budget for the entire building was roughly $950,000 and residents opened their wallets to help.
“What’s great about this project is how we funded it,” he said. “To date, we have approximately $360,000 worth of resident donations.”
Residents have been donating money for nine years, ever since the idea to renovate the old village hall was brought up by Trustee Mel Ettinger. In October alone, Letica said, they received $13,000 in resident donations.
“We have roughly 300 families in the village and about 200 donated,” Ettinger said. “It’s incredible. And some of them gave tens of thousands and some gave $50. It was a conglomeration and obviously the overwhelming majority of people wanted to donate.”
Asharoken was also able to capitalize on money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and multiple grants to help fund the construction of the new building, because the old one took a beating during Hurricane Sandy. Letica said they received $530,000 from FEMA and about $80,000 in grants.
“After Sandy, it became more apparent that we had to do something,” Letica said. “And maintaining the old building made no sense anymore.”
The new village trustee meeting room will soon have a donor board, where the names of people who have donated will be showcased on the wall.
“This is a really neat accomplishment by the village residents,” Letica said. “It’s something I think very few communities on Long Island could rally to do. I think it says a lot about Asharoken as a community.”
The new Village Hall is also much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than the old establishment.
The building uses spray foam insulation, an alternative to traditional insulation, and LED lighting, which produces more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs. Both of those products lower utility bills and save on energy costs.
“We expect this building to be very economical energy-wise,” Letica said.