Friday, October 5, 2018

Who Wants the Building?

On August 21, the Common Council passed a resolution requesting Columbia County to "engage in [a] feasibility study with the City of Hudson on the acquisition and use of the John L. Edwards School for city/county municipal offices." On September 18, the Common Council passed another resolution about JLE, this one to "issue a request for proposal to engage in a feasibility study on the acquisition and use of the John L. Edwards School for City municipal offices and Youth Center."

It's not entirely clear what happened in the intervening month, but HudsonValley360 reported last evening that Columbia County is giving Hudson "first dibs" on the building: "Columbia County gives Hudson first crack at doing something with JLE building." The article cites a letter dated September 17--the day before the Council passed the resolution to issue an RFP and a week after the resolution was introduced at the informal Council meeting--from Supervisor Ron Knott (Stuyvesant), who chairs the Board of Supervisors Space Utilization Committee. The following is quoted from the letter: "due to significant interest that the city has for JLE and a new list of proposed uses, it appears apparent that the city should become the lead agency in this proposed project and develop its own study of future uses. . . . If there is available space in the building after the city locates all the functions it desires, the city could then let the county know what space, if any is available for shared services." The building is 89,500 square feet. It is estimated that the City's uses for the building, including relocating the Youth Department there, would require about 15,000 square feet.

Among the seven supervisors who sit on the Space Utilization Committee are two Hudson supervisors: Linda Mussmann (Fourth Ward) and Rick Scalera (Fifth Ward). The other supervisors on the committee, in addition to Knott, the chair, are Clifford Wiegelt (Claverack), James Guzzi (Livingston), Jeffrey Nayer (Copake), and Colleen Teal (New Lebanon).