The old Ossining Town Police Facility on North State Road, under signed sale contract, had a setback this weekend when the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department responded to a possible fire and found themselves faced with water flowing from the facility.
Since systems in the vacant building had been somehow shut down, the pipes had burst and the place was flooding.
“This caused excessive damage not only to the pipes but the facility also," one concerned citizen familiar with the story told Patch. "Unlike the incident at the Putnam Courthouse, this building is in contract to be sold, already at a loss to the taxpayers. Now the Town will be forced to either sell the facility at a further loss, if permitted legally, or spend unbudgeted funds to repair the pipes and associated damages,” Norman Boldt continued.
Boldt blames the Town Supervisor for the situation. "As a way to cut back on expenses during this contract period, Supervisor [Susanne] Donnelly had the heat shut off without shutting off and draining the water pipes," Boldt claimed. "This careless action by the Supervisor also put the lives of those First Responders at risk in addition to all those served by the BMFD because of this preventable action. This incident and others that Supervisor Donnelly has made over the past year question whether she is a leader or a bully."
To the contrary, Donnelly said the damages – the price tag of which were still to be determined – would be covered by insurance and wouldn’t lower the sale price.
She told LoHud.com, “I wish it never happened, but compared to what I expected to walk into Saturday night, the damage was controllable. We caught it very early.” The walls were reportedly damaged and the vestibule flooded.
Donnelly told LoHud that in the interim the building had indeed been maintained; she said the heat was on and monitored, though why the furnace had been turned off was being investigated.
Following the merging of the Town's police force with Westchester County's in 2011, police were operating out of the 8,000-plus-square foot building for some time.
Last year, Donnelly announced the Town had offered to sell the building to Westchester County. The Town also previously reached out to the Village of Briarcliff Manor about possibly purchasing the building for use as its police headquarters, which they said would have to await the possibility of annexation.
In the interim, the building was rented by FOX Broadcasting Company to shoot scenes from the crime show The Following, starring Kevin Bacon.