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Coeymans considering church for new town hall

Sep 19, 2023 12:55 pm

Melanie Lekocevic reports for Capital Region Independent Media that a proposal to buy the Grace United Methodist Church building and turn it into the new Coeymans town hall brought out a packed crowd at a public hearing Sept. 14. Town Supervisor George McHugh explained, “Last year the town board had voted to bond funds to build a brand-new town building here.... This building is partially being used and the rest is not being used because of mold. Rather than put money into this building, we looked at bonding money and borrowing some and using some fund balance to build a new building. That was voted down by the people of the town, which you have to respect, and so we are looking at other options.” The church is in a quiet residential cul-de-sac with limited ingress and egress, so not ideal for a municipal building with a police station and court. The church and school building is for sale for $549,000, with about $4 million needed to be spent for renovations. “It is one of the bigger buildings in the town and village and it is zoned for municipal building purposes,” McHugh said. “We are looking at it as an option. It is not something we have already decided, it’s not something that we made an offer on. We promised to bring options to the people and this is another option.” Resident Yvonne Shackleton was opposed to the purchase, saying, “People like to walk their babies and their dogs and their families there, and I feel that if we have lots of extra traffic up there it will destroy the aesthetic. We love it up there. It’s a little bit removed from the hustle and bustle of the town and we would be reluctant to see that change.” Resident Michael Klausen said he was concerned about police cars coming in and out of the property, but could see reasons to move town business there, saying, “No one wants to see a building crumbling in their neighborhood. That would bring the property values down, and it would still be owned by the residents, so you could still walk up there and probably utilize the space in off-hours.... If someone else buys the property, it won’t be like that. You’ve got to think about that, too.” Read more about this story in The Upstater.

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