LEWISBORO, N.Y. – As the Town of Lewisboro continues its efforts to make its offices compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), officials face the question of what to do with the antiquated police station on Spring Street.
Town Supervisor Peter Parsons said that renovating the station to make it ADA-compliant is cost-prohibitive and therefore not an option. Instead, the town must find a new location for its police headquarters for which Parsons says there are three options.
The first is to take over the vacant trailers that acted as school-district offices on Shady Lane before the district relocated to Increase Miller Elementary School. Parsons said the town could negotiate a lease with the Katonah-Lewisboro School District should it choose this route.
The second option would be for the town to rent its own trailers, fit them out to make them viable as a police station, and then place them on the town-owned highway department property.
For the third option, the town could rent out space at the Orchard Square shopping center in Cross River next to where it recently relocated its Court Clerk, Planning, Building and Zoning departments.
Parsons said there are pros and cons to all three choices.
“The advantage of the second two options – putting trailers on the Highway department property or renting space at Orchard Square, is they are both centrally located,” he said. “They would both be at existing communication hubs for emergency communications and our computer systems. That’s not available at Shady Lane.”
However, the advantage that the former school district trailers at Shady Lane do present is that the space is pretty much move-in ready. Little renovation would be required.
“Clearly cost is huge factor [in the decision],” Parsons noted.
Parsons said the town has hired Renee Purse, an architectural consultant, to help make the decision. Police Chief Frank Secret, Building Inspector Peter Barrett, and Joel Smith, facilities maintenance manager are also being consulted.
“The question we need to answer before we make a decision is how much space do we really need?” he explained. “That what I really want [Purse] to figure out.”
Parsons said he wants to make a decision by the end of July.
“We have to bring this to a close pronto,” he said. “We make the decision in July, and then whatever work that needs to be done can get started.”
The town has until Dec. 31 to comply with the agreement it made with the Justice Department to make all its offices ADA compliant.
Parsons said he’s still not sure what the town will do with the building that currently houses the Police Department once the station is moved to its new location.
“I’d like to find out what it would take to turn it into a rental property,” he said. “If the investment turns out to be absurd, of course we wouldn’t do it. But we have a lot of young firefighters looking for inexpensive housing and it would be perfect for something like that.”