NORWICH – Chenango County Fire Coordinator Matt Beckwith requested last week that the county consider purchasing the fire and emergency management training facility located on Hale Street in Norwich.
The property is currently leased from the City of Norwich. In his proposal to the Chenango County Board of Supervisors, Beckwith said the facility currently needs some renovations and must be owned by the county in order to receive state and federal grants for the work.
Chenango County Finance Committee Chairman Jack Cook, R-Greene, asked why the building would have to be purchased to receive the benefits. Beckwith explained that the grant process is extremely in-depth, and the state won’t consider applications as long as the building is being leased.
“We have a lot of money invested into that building already,” said Beckwith. “The lease is set to expire soon and we aren’t eligible to receive grants for any more work on the structure.”
According to Beckwith, preliminary discussions began with the city last spring regarding the possibility of the county purchasing the quarter of an acre sized parcel and building. However, discussions were put on hold due to the frequent storms and flooding over the past five months.
Beckwith explained that the lease will not expire until 2013, but he wanted to “get ahead of the game.”
“[The county has] a lot of money invested into the property already,” he said. “There’s an underground water tank and a couple of trailers that we have added over the years.”..