After years of failed development negotiations over the future of Camp LaGuardia, both candidates for Orange County Executive say it’s time to move forward. YNN's Meredith Zaritheny has more on the differing options the candidates are presenting for the future of the property.
CHESTER, N.Y. -- Once home to one of New York's thriving homeless shelters, it is now abandoned buildings dilapidated, windows smashed and the grounds blanketed by over growth.
"This many years not moving forward, this many years later, impasse after impasse," said Roxanne Donnery, Orange County Executive candidate.
In the past, frustrations between the town of Chester and Blooming Grove, over the vision for the project have stalled progress. Neither town able to agree with the developer Mountco on a final plan for the more than 200 acre property.
Orange County purchased Camp LaGuardia in 2009 for $8.5 million. Now, five years later with no visible progress made, both Donnery and Neuhaus agree it's time to move forward with a new plan.
"I think it's been a long time and instead of wasting both the municipalities and Mountco's time we should start over and re-bid it," said Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive candidate.
Donnery is calling for the cancelation of the county's contract with the developer Mountco. Instead, she would like to see a local development corporation formed to take over the project.
"The board would involved and include a broad range of people from business, from county representatives, from local representatives," said Donnery.
Neuhaus says he would like to see the project re-bid with more involvement of local business experts, including the Orange County Partnership.
"Office of Economic Development and planning for the county, which hasn't been involved in this, should be involved in this, to help shepherd both communities through the process," said Neuhaus.
Despite their differing views, both Donnery and Neuhaus agree action needs to be taken and the community needs to be more involved in the future re-development of Camp LaGuardia.