Broome seeks different Veteran service center location

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BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County has scrapped plans to locate its new Veteran Services Center at the former Vestal Hills Country Club and is looking for a new location.

The county announced in February of 2019 plans to transform the former clubhouse into a new home for its Veterans Services Agency, Clear Path for Vets and the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

The plan also included building 6 tiny houses as transitional housing for veterans, but that plan was opposed by nearby residents.

Plus, County Executive Garnar says there was a desire to locate the center closer to services available in the urban core.

Then the financial uncertainty of the pandemic caused the county to delay the project which was scheduled to be completed by last October.

“It did give us an ability to think, okay let’s go back to the drawing board. Still want to do this project for veterans, is there a better place that we can put it? And the offer to purchase the property for the same amount of money that we purchased it before, allowed us to be able to do that,” says Garnar.

The county has an agreement to sell the property to local businessman Joe Mirabito and developer Brett Pritchard for $750,000, the same amount it bought it for.

Another reason the county decided to change course was the skyrocketing cost of construction, especially lumber.

Garnar says the original design could have added one and a half to 2 million dollars to the project’s original 3 million dollar price tag.

The county hopes to settle on the new location either in the City of Binghamton or Johnson City in the next couple of months with a target of First Quarter 2023 for completion.

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