Village of Freeport looks to move DPW to avoid costly insurance

Officials say during Sandy, the facility was under several feet of water and sustained millions of dollars of damage to its structure, equipment, emergency vehicles

Freeport officials are asking the state to move its Public Works Department to a former state armory.

Freeport officials are asking the state to move its Public Works Department to a former state armory. (1/11/16)

FREEPORT - Freeport is looking to relocate its Department of Public Works garage because its proximity to the water is costing its taxpayers, but the village's plans are facing a major roadblock.

The garage flooded so badly during Superstorm Sandy that it had to be shut down, and Mayor Robert Kennedy says it sustained damages that reached into the millions. Police and fire department vehicles were disabled and unable to be repaired, Kennedy says. The village is also paying flood insurance on the building that is costing its taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year because it’s in a flood zone.

Freeport officials want to avoid future problems by relocating the garage to an abandoned New York state armory building. The armory housed a National Guard unit until it was vacated in 2011.

A transfer of the site was approved in the state Senate by a 61-0 vote. But the bill failed in the Assembly because the area's Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper has been backing a different proposal. She favors using the building for a charter school or a community center.

Mayor Kennedy says he's frustrated that Hooper is blocking a plan that would save taxpayers money. He says he reached out to her several times for discussion, but she has not responded.

News 12 attempted to speak to Hooper, but only reached her answering machine.

The proposal is expected to be debated again in Albany as the new legislative session gets underway.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

After the GOP health care bill was scrapped 1 Zeldin: Failed GOP health care bill 'eye-opener' for Trump
Two lawmakers are pushing for better safety on 2 Local lawmakers push for better safety on Southern State Parkway
Irish spirit was strong during the 55th annual 3 Irish spirit strong at St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montauk
Police are searching for the driver involved in 4 Police: Man arrested in fatal Brentwood hit-and-run
Officials say a man is dead after being 5 Officials: Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Coram

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.