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Yates legislature considers massive $25M highway, emergency services, and public health complex off 14A in Benton Center

A massive $25 million project could be coming to Yates County.

Officials met this week and discussed a new building that would house the county’s highway department, emergency services, and public health.

The Yates County Legislature got its first in-depth look at a meeting on Monday, which included a presentation by Highway Superintendent Doug Rapalee.

Where would it be located? What would it replace?

The proposed facility would be located off Route 14A in the hamlet of Benton Center.

Presently, emergency services is located in the public safety building on Main Street in Penn Yan. The existing highway department facility, which includes an array of structures from the 1950s and 1960s is in rough shape.

“It doesn’t really serve our purposes anymore,” Rapalee said during the presentation. “It’s not energy efficient and isn’t made for the bigger equipment we have today.”

What’s the next step?

Not all legislators were immediately in favor of the development, including Mark Morris. “That’s a red flag based on my capital project experience,” he said, adding that legislators take a look at other projects in other states that fit a similar mold.

Still though, this is New York State, and the project will likely be more expensive now than it was a few years – or even months – ago.

If everything went to plan, which includes receiving bids on-time – then groundbreaking would begin around May 2023 – with completion sometime around Christmas 2024.

In the meantime, plenty more debate is expected on the matter.