Press-Republican

Friday

March 29, 2013

Plans made for Malone Reserve Center

MALONE — The Malone Village Board wants the former U.S. Army Reserve Center on Finney Boulevard to consolidate its offices and departments onto one site.

But Franklin County is expected to gain title to the building in June and turn it over to District Attorney Derek Champagne as a possible headquarters for multiple law-enforcement agencies.

The DA has been negotiating for the property for more than two years to house a proposed Northern Border Intelligence Center, which has the blessing of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Congressmen Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) and the County Legislature.

Champagne said that while the village may want the site, “it’s not necessarily viable” that it could happen.

He is “willing to discuss sharing space with the village,” but the DA wants use of a majority of the Finney Boulevard site for law-enforcement purposes.

MORE, BETTER SPACE

Mayor Todd LePine said the Village Board wants to move the Village Offices, Police Department and Department of Public Works to the former reserve center to consolidate services.

It is what taxpayers wanted to see after soundly rejecting a November referendum to dissolve the village.

LePine said the site would provide plenty of room for all facets of village government and that a move would save taxpayers rent.

The Police Station could be sold for added savings.

Village Trustee Hugh Hill said the DPW garage “is toxic to property values” and a source of environmental issues for the Salmon River.

The Reserve Center’s fenced-in parking area could easily hold the DPW snowplows and other heavy equipment, as well as the fleet for the police force, he said.

VACANT SINCE 2008

The U.S. General Services Administration is in charge of disbursal of the property, known as the Lockwood Army Reserve Center.

It was built in 1961 and has a 24,325-square-foot training building and a 3,234-square-foot maintenance building situated on 4.28 acres.

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