HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- Legislation transferring ownership of the Hoosick Falls armory into the hands of a local nonprofit became law with the governor’s signature last week. The resolution in Hoosick contrasts with other armories around the state that have gone on the auction block.
Senate bill S7255C authorizes the commissioner of general services to transfer ownership to the Hoosick Area Partnership for Parents and Youth, the charter 501(c)3 charitable organization for the Hoosick Area Youth Center and Community Coalition. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law along with more than 80 others (among a few vetoes) on Aug. 1.
The state Senate and Assembly passed the bill unanimously in mid-June. HAYC3 Executive Director Aelish Nealon said Monday the state Office of General Services would next sign over the deed, and a transition plan would be worked out between her organization’s board and town officials. The Hoosick town offices are slated to remain at 80 Church Street under a new arrangement after renting space from the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs since the mid-1990s.
The building’s transfer of ownership caps an 18-month discussion in town regarding what to do with the historic 1889 armory designed by Isaac Perry, which had been occupied by an active National Guard unit until the end of April 2011. The Guard’s imminent departure was announced that March. Town board members contemplated municipal ownership of the building, but those efforts were ultimately aborted amid disagreement and concerns over cost.
Expressing interest after being approached by the town, HAYC3’s bid for the armory was bolstered by a resolution of support from the town board in May, which said it was "evident" the organization could use the additional facility to enhance and expand on services "for the overall good of the community."
Use restrictions included in the law dictate the armory is used for "housing various community programs including programs pertaining to education, recreation, health and wellness, civic groups, cultural and youth association, veterans affairs, public safety and historic preservation."
A public "brainstorming session" organized by HAYC3 in June sparked more than 80 uses along those lines.