Clay Town Hall Story

Posted on December 2, 2020

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Clay First Town Hall 12 2 20

HISTORY MYSTERY: Clay Town Hall Story

 

The first building called Clay Town Hall was in the hamlet of Euclid on Morgan Road just off Route 31 on the right side heading north. Originally this building housed the First Baptist Church and Society of the Town of Clay, Onondaga County as voted so on December 18, 1832. This meeting house was dedicated on February 1, 1866. The earliest recollection of the Town of Clay taking possession is in 1915. The Euclid Choral Society gave a concert on February 11 of that year; it was performed at Town Hall, Euclid, N. Y.  Irving Parmenter was town supervisor at that time. In 2012, Bill Weaver of the Clay Town Board remembered the old building in the 1950’s. It is confirmed in the bond resolution set forth for the approval of the residents of the town for the construction and financing of the planned new highway department building. (See line drawing.)

 

The resolution described the conditions at the first location. “Only three pieces of town equipment could be stored inside. In the rear was an unheated barn for additional storage. Both the town hall and barn were a fire hazard so insurance was high.  The meeting room in the back was inadequate.” Details of the new building were described: “New construction would be a prefabricated fire-proof building 70 feet wide and 122 feet in length to be located on Route 31 between the hamlets of Euclid and Clay, with floors and meeting room and office space to be covered with asphalt tile…….The entire design of the proposed new building to be one of serviceability, modern in structure, inexpensive for any additions yet planned with economy and minmum cost in mind……A new meeting room would service the needs of the town and community civic groups and would provide a central meeting place for recreational activities for the youth of the Town of Clay. The entire floor of the garage area was to be exposed concrete reinforced six inches in depth.”

 

In the 1950’s, many residents could remember the time when snow removal was not one of the Highway Department’s responsibilities. Now the roads had to be kept open and now they owned a four-wheel drive snow fighter, an Osh Gosh snow fighter, a road roller, a bucket shovel, two Walters snow fighters, four dump trucks, a road grader and two tractors for a total value of $200,000. On Friday, June 28, 1957 from noon to 8 p.m., the residents were asked to vote to approve the expenditure of $75,000 for a new building at no increase in taxes for them. It passed and work began on the new Town Hall. Construction took place during the terms of Lemuel Ladd and Leonell Sequin.

 

The growth of Clay from that period on was tremendous. One dedicated and well-known supervisor was Ernie Casale, who had formerly been town assessor. The present Clay Town Hall was the dream of Supervisor Pat DiDomenico who served from 1983 to 2003 after being a councilor from 1972 to 1983. Unfortunately, he did not live to see his dream of a new, up-to-date Clay Town Hall, passing away in 2002. Work continued until May 2003, when the town employees began packing up their office furniture and supplies. They clearly remember moving into the new building in August. The dedication was held in October of 2003.

 

Many improvements and added facilities can be seen inside. Outside, one can observe the solar panels in the back of the building and also behind the old town hall which now is completely under the direction of the Clay Highway Department. Solar energy has greatly reduced the cost of utilities at both locations. Features have been added to the landscaping and additional plans are underway. Present Supervisor, Damian Ulatowski, still recounts how Clay became one of the 100 best places to live in the United States.

 

Dorothy Heller, Historian

11-5-20

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Clay Town Hall

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