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County plans to buy 11 Warren Street

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11 Warren Street in Hudson. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

By JEANETTE WOLFBERG

HUDSON – The Columbia County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of Hudson’s 11 Warren Street, approved paying the county’s share of Columbia-Greene Community College’s 2023-24 budget, and heard an update on the Columbia County Farmworker Housing Project, at its meeting August 9.

The supervisors authorized the county to buy 11 Warren Street from Galvan for $3,350,000. The building is 18,622 square feet, set on .94 of an acre of land, and was built in 1985, according to a press release on August 11, where the county estimated that envisioned renovations plus the purchase price will total about $8.7 million.

According to the press release, the county currently anticipates using 11 Warren for its new voting machines, now in the basement of 401 State Street, and some departmental offices now in 610 State Street. In addition, officials consider 11 Warren to be flexible enough to accommodate some evolving needs. Supervisor James Guzzi (R-Livingston) noted the building’s open floor plan, with no load bearing walls, “allows us to move office space around in different ways.”

“11 Warren Street is a unique opportunity, with a number of features that make it attractive to the county,” said County Public Works Commissioner Ray Jurkowski in the release. Supervisor Rob Lagonia (R-Austrelitz) said, “It’s a no-brainer, a huge game-changer for the county. I’m very excited about it.”

The building “is in good shape and it fills a void for the county in a good way,” said Mr. Guzzi.

At present, 11 Warren holds Galvan Housing Resources. The building’s previous users include the Columbia Greene Partnership Academy (the Bridge), Bard Early College and Berkshire Union.

Two and a half years ago, in February 2021, Galvan announced a partnership with Benchmark Development to erect on the site a new building, about four stories high and “designed to reflect” Hudson’s “historic character,” with 68 apartments atop retail spaces and underground parking. But in the press release, the county depicts the building as it is now, “all on one level, with 30 outside parking spaces” in front.

Questions to both the county and Galvan about possible closing dates were not answered by press time.

On another matter, Carly Drummer, the President of Columbia-Greene Community College (CGCC) attended the August 9 meeting and “reported that enrollment was up 30% over the summer” session, according to meeting minutes. Meanwhile, the supervisors approved contributing Columbia County’s $3.4 million to CGCC’s $20.1 million 2023-24 budget.

The meeting started with a public hearing with updates on Columbia County Farmworker Housing Rehabilitation Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). This specific grant is for $250,000 for the Klein’s Kill Fruit Farm in Germantown for worker housing. Klein’s Kill Farm, according to its website, has been in a family for four generations and grows apples, peaches, and nectarines. The hearing ended with Board Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) asking for comments, “and there were none.”

Also at the meeting:

*The Ichabod Crane Varsity Softball Team and the Chatham Varsity Baseball Team received plaques in honor of their 2023 State Championship titles

*The supervisors appointed Mary King of Hillsdale and John Bradley of Claverack to the County Environmental Management Council for up to two years

*Chairman Murell appointed a Climate Smart Work Group consisting of Supervisor Brenda Adams (D-Canaan), Supervisor Tistrya Houghtling (D-New Lebanon, minority leader), Supervisor Ron Knott (R-Stuyvesant), Supervisor Timothy Ooms (R-Kinderhook), Senior Planner Don Meltz and County Clerk Holly Tanner

*The Supervisors granted permission to the director of Solid Waste to declare one mower, one 1992 cab and chassis, and one 2011 Chevrolet pickup surplus and to sell them by auction.

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