Port Chester To Study Feasibility Of Proposed Municipal Center

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A 3D model of the proposed Municipal Center that village officials are contemplating building in downtown Port Chester.
A 3D model of the proposed Municipal Center that village officials are contemplating building in downtown Port Chester. Photo Credit: Courtesy of STV

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester is moving forward with exploring a proposed Municipal Center that would house a police station, courts, Village Hall and some retail space.

The village has worked with the National Development Council (NDC) and the architectural firm STV to come up with a tentative design for the Municipal Center.

The envisioned building would be four stories tall and likely located at the corner of Irving Avenue and Poningo Street. The village has contracted the NDC to conduct a $30,000 feasibility study to see whether the structure would work in the village, and determine how much it could cost.

"The village has a severe deficit as it relates to the functionality of the police and courts building, among other elements within the village. So the idea here is really to take a more in-depth look at the space needs of the village and understand what is within the realm of possibility," said Michael Cucchiara of the NDC. "The village's facilities are deteriorating at a certain rate, and at some point the village will have to come to terms with the fact that some of these structures need to be replaced sooner rather than later."

Members of the village Board of Trustees have been pushing to explore the Municipal Center for some time, as the building that houses the police station and courts has been in need of major renovations. The village spent about $330,000 on repairs in 2013, according to Village Manager Chris Steers.

"The working environment and the working conditions are a concern as well. We just got through the process of dealing with a complaint that we had to work through with the Department of Labor, environmental concerns that took about eight months to work through and cost us about $330,000 to do the repairs," Steers said.

The village conducted a study a few years ago and looked at locations for a new police station and court house. The study looked at four locations, and determined that the Irving Avenue and Poningo Street area was the best.

"At the end of the day doing that site just for the court and police station was not sustainable," Steers said. "And I think that's why we took this next step and direction, to see what would be sustainable."

Cucchiara said that one of the hopes is that the Municipal Center could help revitalize the local economy and build up the downtown area.

"We were sort of given the task of looking at it from the perspective of an economic development project, thinking about it in those terms, understanding it can be more than just a space to house police and courts, but it can really have a transformative effect on the village itself."

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Comments (6)

I thank God for you, because as you said, no one comes forward to argue against things that are detrimental to PC. I have many who talk against the government center, but they don't express their feelings to the BOT. They have to realize that you have to speak out to get anything done. Like you, I will continue to be in opposition of this very bad project for PC.

Bea Conetta- Thank you. You are an active concerned citizen who has been in Port Chester for many years as I had been. Generations of our families have also resided here. Both my Paternal and Maternal grandparents arrived in Port Chester in the later years of the 1800's. I also consider this my hometown and I am passionate about this village. I regret I do not see more residents active in taking part in discussions on how the development is proceeding as well as all of the other important issues affecting them. This really baffles me. Therefore like you, I will continue to speak out.

I watched the March 17 Board of Trustees meeting. where it was voted to give $21,000 to Rye Brook to assist the sewer tax being contested. The only dissenting vote was Mr, Terenzi who I believe was totally correct. Rye Brook totally disassociated itself with Port Chester. One may conclude they felt Rye Brook is superior to Port Chester. However, they constantly rely on Port Chester for Fire Department ,Library services et al and money when they
cannot afford these services on their own. They are either disassociated or not. They cannot and should not have it both ways. This has gone way beyond being a good neighbor. Trustees please make your meetings shorter because it appears you are too tired to think more intelligently.

A huge waste of taxpayers dollars to do a feasibility study for a building which supposedly will cost twenty five million dollars. Now anyone with common sense knows this does not include any Eminent Domain Costs for the property to construct this building on .In addition there most assuredly need some plan changes which will add more costs to the building. This building and the property it will be constructed on could possible wind up costing one half million dollars. Let's be reasonable the village of. Port Chester is 2.5 miles square. Therefore, this building is a totally ridiculous expenditure. Not even Port Chester's moneyed neighbor Greenwich has such a building or any plans for one. Port Chester is a low income to middle income community and does not warrant this type of expenditure. It will not pay for itself and no one with common sense would invest in buying bonds which most likely would never be paid back in their lifetime. The board of Trustees while perhaps being well meaning, lack the financial expertise to foresee how financially impractible this entire plan is. It is wonderful to want such niceties for the village. However this plan is not workable. So why throw away the taxpayers money on a feasibility study. This is a case of Rich man's taste with a poor man's pocketbook. All residents are behind improving the village within reasonable thought and reasonable expense.
The Board needs to stop shouting down residents who attend the meetings and listen more closely to their concerns. The Board may be made up of intelligent Trustees. However, they cannot lay claim to being more intelligent than every other resident.

Anne,
Your comments are to the point and absolutely right. If this horrible government center does come to be, it won't be the first time that our BOT made a bad decision and put us in greater debt. The purchase of the Horton school was unwise, because it was so poorly planned by those in charge. We paid 6 1/2 million for it without having it checked thoroughly by an expert, and they found so many things wrong after it was purchased that it cost us close to 20 Million, and it's still not completely finished. My prayer is that more people will come forward and speak out against it. I do enjoy reading your comments, because they always make sense. Keep up your great interest in what goes on in our village.

This is a waste of $44 thousand dollars to make a study of a terrible looking building on a small narrow street. We should have a village hall that is beautiful as those of other communities. This is anything but beautiful. It hurts me to think that our BOT could even consider this. Do you think any other village hall has retail stores as part of their building? Only in Port Chester would a terrible thing like this even be considered. Wake up BOT. You can do better than that.