Rotterdam to use ARPA funding for renovations to old KMart and city park – The Daily Gazette


The city of Rotterdam will use funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to purchase land for a municipal park and to pay the cost of renovating the old KMart at Viaport Rotterdam for city offices.

The board of directors voted 4-0 to use nearly $ 1.5 million in ARPA funds for the two projects. Board member Samantha Miller-Herrera abstained from the vote but declined to explain.

The city signed a 10-year lease on Nov. 2 for the old KMart space and would pay $ 8 per square foot for 50,000 square feet of space.

The lease provides for a $ 1 million security deposit that the city plans to pay with ARPA funding.

The city had said the $ 1 million deposit would be “invested in the required modernization and modernization of the space, including improving the functioning of the court and the security of the police department and the court of justice.” .

Elected council member Joe Mastroianni asked council to put on hold approval of funds during the public comment period at the city’s board meeting on Wednesday evening.

“It’s a bit disconcerting,” Mastroianni said of the project.

More information should be available to determine whether the move is the most fiscally responsible decision, he said. Voting to spend money on the Viaport project and the park at the same meeting where a public hearing was held regarding the state’s tax limit being exceeded does not make sense, Mastroianni said.

“It doesn’t seem prudent when we are in a tough financial situation to spend money that we could use on infrastructure projects,” he said.

Deputy Supervisor Evan Christou reiterated his position on supporting the movement.

“These buildings are in ruins,” he said of the city’s current neighborhoods.

Repairs at town hall would cost around $ 1 million, including $ 600,000 for the roof, Christou said.

The new location would create more efficiency among municipal services, he said.

Board member Joe Guidarelli said this would save the city money as items such as office equipment would be centrally located for use by all departments rather than d ‘have several office equipment such as printers.

The move also has the potential to bring more people to the Viaport, Signore said. People visiting and working at the town hall might be more inclined to stay and visit the establishment’s businesses, Guidarelli said. He also said more businesses might be interested in filling spaces in the building if they saw people coming to visit the town hall.

Another $ 475,000 would be used to purchase 212 Phillips Road for a park and to make park improvements.

Supervisor Steven Tommasone said the town had heard for years that it needed a park on this side of town and that 212 Phillips Road was the right place to go.

The land could be subdivided and sold for redevelopment, with 38 acres left for a municipal park.

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