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Columbia County officials looking at moving some programs, departments to Ghent

Dec 27, 2022 1:00 am

Jeanette Wolfberg reports for The Columbia Paper that Columbia County officials are considering a proposal that would consolidate the county's Meals on Wheels facilities into one location, and moving the Office for the Aging and Healthcare Consortium offices from Hudson to Ghent. “We’re looking at a very large project,” acknowledged County Engineer Raymond Jurkowski at the County Board of Supervisors November meeting. The Meals on Wheels program currently operates out of four sites: the kitchen in Philmont, extra coolers in a Public Works building on Route 23B, extra coolers in the Public Safety Building on Industrial Tract Road in Greenport, and the Office for the Aging at 325 Columbia Street in Hudson. The roof, plumbing, and heating at the Philmont building where the program’s kitchen is housed, have been declared at the end of their useful life. And the storage areas already have “boxes on top of boxes on top of boxes” because of space limitations. What’s more, the number of meals the program produces has risen 25 percent in the past five years, said Office for the Aging Director Kevin McDonald. For those reasons, officials believe it would be useful to combine all Meals on Wheels operations at one location, with structures in good condition, and ample room for storage, coolers, vehicles, and expansion. Officials appear to be leaning toward construction of a new building on a six-acre parcel adjacent to the county Commerce Park to house Meals on Wheels, the Office for the Aging and the Healthcare Consortium, as well. Some elected officials have also raised the possibility of other county departments making the move to Ghent, as well. Hudson 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael Chameides said conversations with the public and the affected departments will be needed to weigh options. “We have to consider how it will impact the public. The ultimate goal is the public good.” Read more in The Columbia Paper

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