After more than eight months of heated debate, the Watervliet City Council moves to rezone St. Patrick's Church. Innae Park has more.
WATERVLIET, N.Y. -- “I'm 73, but I'm looking for progress,” said Watervliet resident John Kenney.
“We're not ready to say it's a done deal,” said Christine Bulmer of Citizens for St. Patrick’s.
A community still divided, even after a unanimous vote, to rezone the site of St. Patrick's Church. The once residential 19th Street plot is now a business district.
“We are trying to redevelop 19th Street to be our commercial anchor, our commercial strip and this is a big community project,” said Watervliet Mayor Mike Manning.
This vote allows Nigro Companies to begin its plans to demolish the historic building and create a Price Chopper store. This has already been ongoing for more than eight months. How soon will that happen?
“We're not sure yet. The weather is sort of turning in us now. We have a lot of plans in the making,” said John Nigro, President of Nigro Companies.
They aren't the only ones.
Bulmer said, “As far as I'm concerned, this is not the end of the road. It's just another step in a very long process.”
The group Citizens for St. Patrick's says they will keep fighting to keep their piece of history.
“There are positive economic benefits with preservation and with positive reuse,” said Bulmer.
“No one else has come to say, I will purchase this property and preserve it,’" said Father Edward Deimeke.
As for those in need of the sale, it’s time to see St. Patrick's go.
Deimeke said, “The mission of the church is not to preserve buildings.”
This new Price Chopper would replace the current one on Second Avenue.