MALONE — Advocates for the homeless have ended their attempt to gain ownership of the former U.S. Army Reserve Center in Malone.
The Rev. Joe Selenski, director of Barnabas House Homeless Services, notified the U.S. General Services Administration he is withdrawing his application to take possession of the Finney Boulevard property.
He said not enough partner agencies came aboard, and the facility would be too expensive to maintain.
“We have toured the facility and pored over financial concerns in future operation and have decided we fall short in continuous operational financial security,” Selenski told the Press-Republican by email.
“There is simply too much space past the portion of space best suited for our causes, and the expense of monthly operations are too high without using this space.
“We had hoped for strong coalition support and administrative priority going to larger organizations so I could step away after the application process.
“However, this support did not materialize as expected, and the administrative needs surpass my abilities and the small organizational capability of Barnabas House,” the pastor said.
BACKS DA’S PLAN
He offered his support to the only other reuse plan under consideration by the government, which is from Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne.
He wants to use the property for a state crime-analysis center, the County’s Public Nursing Services and storage for County Emergency Services equipment.
First priority for reuse of a surplus government property goes to services for the homeless, followed by reuse for law-enforcement purposes, according to the federal McKinney Homelessness Assistance Act law.
“He has strong financial security and plans for full usage of entire property,” Selenski said of Champagne. “We support his efforts, and the resulting jobs will help our North Country area while helping to reduce drug traffic and other essential issues.