Armory transfer bill OK’d in Assembly; awaits governor’s signature

The bill to turn the Riverhead Armory on Route 58 over to Riverhead Town took another step forward this week, as the state Assembly has approved the transfer, said Assemblyman Dan LoSquadro (R-Shoreham), who sponsored the assembly bill.

The state Senate approved the same bill two week ago, meaning that it awaits only the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo to become law.

Riverhead Town is hoping to convert the building into a new headquarters for its police and courts, which currently are both located in a building adjacent to Town Hall on Howell Avenue that officials say is too small.

If the town can move the police and courts to the Armory, it can also move other town officials into the current police headquarters, officials said.

Supervisor Sean Walter has said he would like to move some town offices out of the space the town rents on Pulaski Street so they will be closer to Town Hall.

“The transfer of the Riverhead Armory back to the Town of Riverhead is a win-win for the community,” Mr. LoSquadro said. “On one hand, it allows the town to meet its growing public-safety needs without having to build a costly new police station and town justice center. The central location of the site will also reduce emergency-response times, greatly enhancing public safety.”

The Armory has been vacant since the New York Army National Guard’s 133rd Quartermaster Company was relocated last year to a new facility in Farmingdale that consolidates several Army National Guard units into one location.

Town officials have said the Armory will need some renovation before it can be used for town purposes, but they have not yet publicly stated how much that will cost.

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