Thursday, January 11, 2018

What's Planned for the Sunset Motel

On Monday, Linda Mussmann, recently elected Fourth Ward supervisor, posted this statement on her Facebook page:
Eric Galloway wants a homeless shelter in Greenport at the former Sunset Hotel. Please come to a meeting where the head of DSS (Mr. Gibson) will outline plans for the Galloway Homeless shelter for Columbia county. This meeting is being held at the County Board at 401 State Street. Tuesday-Jan. 16th @ 5pm--it is an information meeting for County Board Supervisors--please come and listen--Mr. Galloway is a known real estate player here in Hudson--he is warehousing space right here in Hudson--he owns many buildings that sit empty--so it is pretty ironic that he wants to build a homeless shelter in Greenport--when he has plenty of houses that are available right here in Hudson that could remedy the problem lickety split--but let's see the proposal--public scrutiny is key to democracy--join me.
This afternoon, Gossips received a press release from the Galvan Foundation, which reads in part:
Galvan is now addressing the county’s emergency housing needs by acquiring and renovating a 25 room motel in Greenport, NY. The newly renovated rooms will be fully furnished and achieve green design standards. The motel includes a community kitchen, computer stations, space for services, laundry, and common space. The total development cost is $1,500,000. The expected completion date is April 2018. 
Galvan is partnering with Columbia County Department of Social Services (CCDSS) to prioritize room reservations for CCDSS referrals. CCDSS currently books motel rooms throughout the county for their clients, paying a high cost for rooms that do not include support services. Galvan is making rooms available to CCDSS at a significantly lower cost than other motels, and is partnering with CCDSS to ensure all guests have access to services and transportation. CCDSS clients will now be able to stay in quality motel rooms, receive support, and live in close proximity to services and employment opportunities.
The meeting Mussmann speaks of is a special meeting that follows the monthly meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee of Columbia County Board of Supervisors. According to the calendar on the county website, the committee meeting takes place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16. The special meeting, which is not mentioned on the calendar, is it 5 p.m. 


  1. Build it, and they will come.

  2. a homeless shelter in the middle of nowhere. How will the "guests" get around? It's miles from downtown Hudson. This is bizarre. Galvan is bizarre, and they need all the scrutiny we can afford.

    1. i guess the homeless have cars ???
      they can use the private taxis that the DSS PAYS 20 K A MONTH FOR i guess. Uber for homeless and poor

      i think hudson should invest in an electric trolley it would cost less.

  3. I'm a little incredulous at the idea that the homeless are going to get the ancillary support services they need to become housing-stable at this location. I hope that's key to the presentation.

  4. Does anyone have a recent statistic on the number of homeless in Hudson? Thanks.

  5. motel rooms for the DSS can cost up to 3,000 a month per room. it is a great way to make money from the government -- and u can get low cost loans to build it.

    its a big business and very profitable -- helping the poor while getting rich off of it

    1. Of course we don't wish to trivialize homelessness, but that same anxiety can inhibit a clear-eyed analysis.

      I asked for a statistic above, first because I want to know Linda Mussman's idea of a "problem," and second because I'd like to know Galvan's estimate of the "need."

      Providing DSS lodgings is a lucrative business, as you point out, so if there aren't enough customers to be had then they must be imported from elsewhere. That's how it works.

      There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this as long as taxpayers are agreeable, but a successful investment needs a market and if the market's not there then it must be created.

      Ms. Mussman should not kid herself, nor attempt to dull our clear-eyed analysis of what she evidently intends for Hudson.

    2. There's a big difference whether DSS is paying a for-profit, tax-paying hotel or paying a non-profit, non-tax-paying hotel, which I think is what the Civic Motel would be. But what is the $$$ difference exactly? That's the question for the taxpayer?

    3. This is the beauty of the current system. Hotels that are in business and pay taxes, make agreements with DSS from time-to-time to take in the homeless. Their existence does not depend on the homeless. And the taxpayer does not lose twice, in that he/she doesn't have to pay the hotel's property tax. These are some of the questions that the Hudson Housing Task Force is addressing.

    4. actually no, one can run a non profit and use the cash flow for all sorts of useful things. and pay oneself for operating management fees.

      the not for profit foundation is a device very wealthy people use to shelter assets and distribute money.

      also, i do not think the Civic Motel will be housing the homeless for no rent from DSS.

      if so, lets see it in writing. how much and at what price per room per day and per month.

      Nothing in life is free. especially in hudson -- someone is paying -- and that someone is either the local taxpayer or the national taxpayer. and / or both.

      and its all very expensive.for everyone. New York State has the highest taxes in the nation -- and now they are not going to be deductible as they were before the new tax bill.
      costs are going to skyrocket even more here.

      welfare housing is fine and some is needed but shouldnt we try to establish factories and businesses in the county to provide jobs ???

    5. First, whether or not the Sunset Motel is an acceptable venue ought to be based on past performance.

      About costs, I do agree with you j kay, although I still took PM's meaning to be something like yours: with the likely tax status of the proposed public-private facility, taxpayers will still be responsible for the entire cost of housing people, but now with the added feature of losing part of the tax base. What's good for Galvan isn't necessarily good for taxpayers, though the clients are unaffected either way.

      I agree that "welfare housing is fine and that some is needed" (and the winter numbers are greater than I'd imagined - thanks S.S.). I also agree that being pro-business is a sensible, long-term approach for lessening poverty. Someday, when the local economy takes a big turn for the better, the DSS will see a reduction of clients.

      But when that day arrives, will the private partner look further afield for new clients? It will if the partnership has since taken on more than one housing location that it can't fill. At that time, what safeguards will be in place to prevent the usual levels of mission creep from becoming a growth industry?

      Since we're all forgiving each other's cynicism here, let's keep a weather eye on this particular private partner, and not be too surprised if there's resistance to such safeguards.

    6. the services of the county are supposed to be for the county residents. some of the clients of DSS may be from other places--

      indeed, social services is actually a business. The business of poverty, the poverty industry, where large amounts of funds are provided to private developers at very low rates. hudson in the 1960s and 70s decided to go into this business. they tore the town down as you can see from the stories in gossips about urban redevelopment.

      please note that the DSS now has many fewer clients than it did 10 years ago- perhaps half as many and declining.

      hudson is unique in that it is a mix and people-- creative people -- who are willing to be pioneers to some extent-- can take a risk and buy old buildings and fix them up and create their vision of a new life. hudson is dynamic.

      we need to service those who have less and spur on the new arrivals who also need help and a welcome. they are the future and there are many young families coming here.

      it will be interesting to see what the future holds, but we need to be mindful of who is creating the new revived hudson we know.

  6. Homeless numbers range from a low of around 50 in the summer to 99 right now. The statistics can be found monthly on the website under the Heath and Human Services committee minutes.

  7. Then lets do whats right for the homeless of Columbia County and not allow it to become a profitrering for speculators or csrpetbsggers .

  8. Mussman must have Ricky and Junior steaming