The City of New Rochelle invited residents to tour City Yard to see for themselves the conditions prompting a proposed move to a new location.
The city has its sights set on moving the Department of Public Works—a collection of buildings in varying conditions located on East Main Street—to a city-owned lot on Beechwood Avenue.
A study determined that constructing the facility on the new site would cost a little over $13 million, where renovating the current East Main Street facility would cost $16 million.
DPW Commissioner Alexander Tergis led the group of about 20 residents and media around the facilities. Because it is an active work site, all were required to sign waivers.
Tergis, who has been commissioner a little over a history, said the city started talking about moving the City Yard, which is situated on the waterfront, for about 27 years.
"If you are getting ready to trade in your car for something new," he said, "you keep letting things go (in the old one)."
That, Tergis said, is what the city has been doing with regard to the DPW facility, thinking that it will eventually move.
He said that the Beechwood property is not his ideal location for such a physical plant, but "you are never going to find an ideal spot for a city yard."
Tergis said the Beechwood site isn't on a major highway such as East Main Street, so "it will be a matter of drivers being careful" in accessing and leaving the site.
The new site will address deficiencies, such as lack of shower facilities for sanitation workers and the fact that department heads are spread out over the seven-acre site now. Buildings are in disrepair, seen from the outside. Road salt is stored in the open air, which could possible leach into the nearby waterway.
"Wherever we go for a new yard," Tergis said, "it will definitely improve our efficiencies."
New Rochelle resident Robert McCaffrey went on the tour.
He wondered if the proposed move—which according to Tergis wouldn't be completed until about two years after the final OK—was the best for the city.
"It doesn't seem there's been a true plan," McCaffrey said. "It seems like we are juggling too many things."
Tergis said he will find a date for residents to tour the proposed Beechwood Avenue site.