State troopers propose Chatham barracks

CHATHAM–At the April 19 Town Board meeting representatives from the State Police asked for three acres of land to build a new barracks. The troopers said they could not purchase the land but they were hoping to have the property transferred to the police agency.

Having a barracks in Chatham just north of the Town Hall would enhance coverage and police presence in area, Captain Michael Jankowiak, Troop K, Zone 1 commander, said at the meeting. “In essence, this would be our home,” he told the board. From Chatham the troopers would “cover all of Northern Columbia County,” he said. In a phone interview after the meeting he said that this barracks would replace the current station in New Lebanon, but that the state police would keep the office they currently have in the Village of Kinderhook.

A state police representative from Albany said at the meeting it would cost about $3 million to build the new barracks.

“It’s a great benefit to the town,” said Town Attorney Sal Ferlazzo, continuing, “but we don’t want it to be a short-term benefit.” He said that the town would have to go through the state Attorney General’s Office for the agreement on the land, the Planning Board would have to review the subdivision and Zoning Board of Appeals would have to issue a special use permit.

Mr. Ferlazzo said he will continue talking with the state police about the land at the board’s request.

Captain Jankowiak said after the meeting that they are in the “early stages” of this process.

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