The Putnam Examiner

New Firehouse and Community Center Details Discussed in Putnam Valley

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By Neal Rentz

Two major new buildings are being planned in Putnam Valley.

At the Oct. 19 town board meeting, proposals for a new firehouse for the town’s volunteer fire department and a new community recreation center were discussed.

The new firehouse would be located near the current ambulance building at 218 Oscawana Lake Rd. The fire department owns the land where the new building would go up. The current fire house is located at the town hall complex.

Fire Chief Shawn Keeler said the new firehouse would be two stories tall with nine bays provided for fire apparatus and other facilities, including locker rooms on the first floor. The bays would be larger than those in the current firehouse and are needed because fire trucks are larger than they have been in the past, he said.

The second floor would have several features including offices, a meeting/ training room and equipment storage space, Keeler said.

The new fire house would cost between $6 and $7 million, which would be raised through bonds, Keeler said, adding about $50,000 has already been spent on the project.

There are 98 members of the volunteer fire department, Keeler said. A public hearing on the firehouse proposal is scheduled for Nov. 2.

New Community Center Plans Develop

Also last week, a discussion was held on the proposed new community center that would be located in the eastern portion of Leonard Wagner Memorial Park at a cost of $2.9 million.

Parks and Recreation Board Chairman Phil Keating, Jr. told the town board last week a new center was needed to provide residents a venue for various programs including sports which could not be accommodated in the current facility. A women’s volleyball program and two basketball programs for adults had to be recently discontinued because the current community center could not accommodate them because it is being used for other programs, he said.

Keating said the new center is being proposed for the property where the roller hockey rink is currently located in the park. Roller hockey is not as popular as it once was, he said.

The new center would include a gym that could accommodate two games at once, Keating said.

Revenue could be generated by fees paid by leagues and other entities for renting the new center, Keating said. Additional money could be saved by bringing the day camp from land owned by the CYO, which costs the town $75,000 annually, though a $30,000 profit is generated from the camp, he said. The project would be paid for through bonds, Keating said.

Supervisor Sam Oliverio said a $100,000 state grant could be used for the project.

Joel Greenberg, an architect working on the community center project, said the new community center would be 13,000 square feet. Some of the features of the proposed building would include an office for the head of the town’s recreation and parks departments, locker rooms and storage rooms.

Resident Patty Villanova asked how much has already been spent on the community center project. Keating said $16,000 has been spent to prepare plans and other work on the project. Villanova said $60,000 has been spent on the project for the services of Insite Engineering.

“Where is that money coming from” to pay for the proposed community center, Villanova asked. Oliverio said the money for the new center would be through bonds, which would be paid off over a period of 20 to 30 years.

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