Just about a year after plans to turn the former Summit Shock Camp into a junkyard withered, a feasibility study is proposing a different use for the 20-acre site:
A drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation facility.
Frank Stubbolo and Regis O'Neil Jr. of The SYFF Group LLC from Hauppauge presented plans for the 200-bed facility they're calling the Eagle Heights Substance Abuse Treatment Center to the Town of Fulton in September.
The Town of Fulton has no zoning--though it does have some zoning-type laws, said Planning Board Chairman Peter Shulman, including one that regulates junkyards.
That was the use proposed by Dean Hansen and his mother, Judith Mills, after they bought the former prison at auction in August 2014 for $204,000
The two had planned to turn what was once Camp Summit into a junkyard and recycling center and eventually add a convenience store, medical center, laundromat, retail space, and senior housing.
Neighbors expressed fears over traffic and noise, but it was concerns over the potential runoff of fuel, chemicals, and hazardous materials into the nearby state-protected trout stream Panther Creek that effectively stopped the project: Planners asked Mr. Hansen and Ms. Mills for an environmental review of their proposal, which, they never got.
In a feasibility study intended for potential investors, SYFF has determined the best use of the site, which it has valued at $1.7 million as-is and at $40 million after the necessary licensing and rehabbing as a "first-rate" alcohol and substance rehabilitation facility, as a "best use of the facility."
"We are in the process of obtaining licensing to operate an alcohol and substance treatment center," SYFF explains in the study, adding that it will provide "more than 100 jobs for the region in addition to much needed treatment services."
SYFF has equity ownership in the former Summit Shock.
The feasibility study characterizes the condition of the property as "very good...has been maintained by the developer," [Mr. Hansen and Ms. Mills], and says the buildings are "designed for low-end unsecured inmate housing and activities...air and water discharge permits from DEC are in place."
Mr. Shulman said there are no laws in Fulton prohibiting such a use of the property.
Though state law allows for municipalities to vote against drug rehab facilities, he said Fulton voted 3-1 to not oppose such a use.
The Eagle Heights Substance Abuse Treatment Center, however, would have to be licensed by the state.
Services will include residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs as well as "sober homes."
Broken down, the costs of rehabilitating the facility itself include $565,000 for soft costs like the license application, engineering, and property management, $5.9 million for exterior and interior improvements, and $1.1 million for equipment, for a total of $7.6 million.
Income is projected at almost $1 million in year one, when the facility would be at 30 percent occupancy.
By year five, at 100 percent occupancy, it would be $20 million annually.
Neighbor Maria Schiavo is one of those opposed to the project because she's afraid for her family's safety and doesn't believe there are any measures in place to keep residents from just walking away.
"That's not why I live here," Ms. Schiavo said. "I don't want to have to worry about people I don't know wandering onto my property. We're not that far away."