NORWICH – A grassroots effort supported by Commerce Chenango and government leaders who hope to save the New York State Veterans’ Home in Oxford and Camp Pharsalia brought the region’s representatives to the Eaton Center for an open forum Wednesday evening.
Camp Pharsalia, a minimum security detention facility, was closed by the state in the beginning of July. The state has constructed a new nursing home for veterans in Oxford; the currently-occupied facility will be vacant once the new one becomes operational.
New York State Senators Thomas Libous and James Seward and state Assemblyman Clifford Crouch told a group of about 30 what had been accomplished to date to save both structures from the wrecking ball.
Some possible uses for the facilities presented by members of the community were: a national leadership institute to train students in community service, an academy for training conservationists, a college of forestry, a health clinic for veteran’s, a home for homeless veterans, a dialysis center, an eldercare facility, and a child care facility.
Chenango County Area Agency on Aging Director Debra Sands suggested creating multi-functional uses for both buildings that would bring many different organizations and funding parties to the table.