Middleburgh looks to transform old church site


By David Avitabile

Nearly four years after Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the former Valley Bible Church on Route 30, there are more plans for the vacant property.
Middleburgh town officials were informed earlier this month that the St. Mark's Lutheran men's group is hoping to work with the Middleburgh Fire Department on transforming the area into a community park.
The park would have picnic tables, benches and other features.
The fire department wants to use the area for training.
The church was taken down as part of the FEMA buyout project. Church officials said they will make a sizable donation for the use of the property, as long as a plaque noting the funding was displayed.
It had been hoped that the area could be transformed into a community ball field, but those plans were not realized.
The village is hoping for a long-term lease for the fire department, but Supervisor Jim Buzon told board members he was more in favor of a lease for one or two years that can be rolled over.
In a related action, board members agreed to advertise the leasing of the numerous other FEMA buyout properties in the town.