BY JENNA HUTCHINS
At Tuesday night’s Stony Point Town Board meeting, Paul Carlucci of the Italian American Social Club of West Haverstraw pleaded with the Stony Point Ambulance Corps for the use of a vacant building for club meetings.
The Italian American Social Club, which has an active presence in the community for generations, recently shut its doors on Cosgrove Avenue in West Haverstraw and is looking for a new place to hold meetings and events. The club believes the perfect location would be the old ambulance building that has sat vacant on Lee Ave. adjacent to Rose Memorial Library since the Corps moved its operations to its new building on Liberty Drive three years ago.
Carlucci said that the club is willing to pay for use of an otherwise vacant building. He said to the board, “The Italian-American Club would like to offer to pay the monthly utilities of the building, thus relieving you of that monthly expense, as well as offer a monthly donation for the use and support of the Stony Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps.”
He added they are prepared to maintain the building, within reason, if they end up taking residence there.
Marcella Samuels, the finance chairwoman for the Ambulance Corps, spoke in opposition to the idea. “There’s a lot of things with an old building that would have to be replaced on the back of the Ambulance Corps,” she said.
Samuels said that even if the club is offering to give a donation, the Corps would first need to pay to have an inspector come in to evaluate repair costs. Since the club is looking to rent the space because they cannot afford to buy one, the Corps and possibly taxpayers would have to foot the bill for any repairs or vital replacements.
Councilman Jim White said the Town Board is looking to dispose of the building. He told Carlucci, “The rental income would have to justify us keeping that property.”
Samuels said that the Corps had similar thoughts and decided to form a committee to discuss the possibility of selling. The Corps, according to Samuels, is already spending roughly $2,000 – $3,000 a month on plumbing repairs for its new building. “We’re doing our hardest to stay afloat. We are working very, very hard and the riders are giving all that they can give.”
The volunteer group is trying to control expenses and maintain financial stability, and believes that renting out their old building would not help them in achieving their goal. Carlucci said that he wants to set up a time for the club, the Town Board, and the Ambulance Corps to meet and negotiate the details of potentially renting the space.