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Asharoken's new $1.05M village hall cost taxpayers $4,434, mayor says

Asharoken Mayor Greg Letica cuts the ribbon at

Asharoken Mayor Greg Letica cuts the ribbon at a dedication ceremony for Asharoken's new village hall on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Local officials including Rep. Steve Israel, second from right, along with community members, also attended. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Asharoken received its final payment from FEMA for its new village hall, bringing the total taxpayer cost for the $1.05 million project to just $4,434, Mayor Greg Letica said in a March 11 letter to residents.

The long-awaited village hall opened for business in November, funded by FEMA, grants, rebates and $366,000 in resident donations.

The final $59,317 payment from FEMA brought the taxpayer burden for the hall to just 0.32 percent of the project’s total cost, Letica said.

“Ten years ago when Trustee Mel Ettinger approached Mayor Bill Kelly with the idea to renovate/rebuild Village Hall he was given very simple instructions: just do it without spending taxpayer money,” Letica said in the letter. “Remarkably, the Village has essentially done exactly that.”

The village had been raising money for a new village hall for nearly 10 years, but the project took on new urgency after superstorm Sandy severely damaged the old building.

The new hall also serves as the village police station, courtroom, clerk’s office and emergency shelter. The two-story, 5,550-square-foot building is more than three times the size of the old hall.

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