Letter to the Editor: Police expansion

October 10, 2008

Hold back on police department expansion
Linda Harris

“Let’s all be fiscally responsible, not irresponsible.”

Wrong location for police expansion
Scott Powell

“As a suggestion, I can’t think of a better location for town hall than the retrofitted auditorium on the current Reader’s Digest property.”

Letter to the Editor:  Hold back on police department expansion
Dear Editor,
I agree with Supervisor Barbara Gerrard’s statement in your Oct. 3, 2008, article, “Town board reviews plan to expand police facilities,” that “these are fiscally challenging times.”  I don’t think that right now our taxes should go to expansion of services, but rather to the funding of the necessities . . . even here in Chappaqua, New York.

Let’s all be fiscally responsible, not irresponsible.  Perhaps town hall government workers can manage with less space and try to rework current space usage to meet police department needs. The New Castle police have been superior in all the 21 years in which I have lived here. Let’s wait to see the economic future for the next four years before we, as a town, commit to additional taxes for any expansion.

Thank you very much,

Linda Harris
Dear Editors,
We need to support our police, fire and rescue teams, giving them every tool they need. Certainly a facility to do that is an obvious first step.

The proposed location, on the edge of New Castle, is not, and never has been, an ideal location. Our town’s geographic population distribution, layout of main roads and other factors suggest that given a fresh start, the last place you would place a police station or town hall would be in its current location in town.

Any design to expand the building will be a compromise at best, adding traffic to an already highly congested area.

I would explore the purchase of an existing structure, and moving either the police and fire and rescue teams, or the town’s administration. While there is some commonality and good logic to collocating all the functions in one building, it’s more a convenience than a strict requirement.

Relocate the town administration to the Reader’s Digest property

As a suggestion, I can’t think of a better location for town hall than the retrofitted auditorium on the current Reader’s Digest property. It looks like a town hall, has parking, has room for expansion, a potential multi-use auditorium, easy access to the parkway and all other main routes. Moving town hall to this property would certainly have the added benefit of solidifying our town’s long term interest in the property. The idea of moving town hall is not new. As a life long resident of Chappaqua, I remember a time when town hall was actually located in what is now the Talbot’s retail store area at the intersection of King Street and Route 117.

Expanding to support our first responder teams is good idea, but I would look at a more fundamental approach rather than adding more buildings to downtown Chappaqua.

Scott Powell