A veterans' center at old Boreali's?


By Patsy Nicosia

A group calling itself the Cobleskill Veterans and Families Medical Residence Corp. has big plans for the former Boreali’s in Howes Cave.
According to Peter Nardelli, secretary/treasurer of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 807, the site’s ideal for a treatment center for veterans in need of help from addiction, life skills training, and short-term housing.
Mr. Nardelli and his group plan to take the proposed project to the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors Friday; they’ve already taken it to Cobleskill Supervisor Leo McAllister and councilmen.
Mr. McAllister told Mr. Nardelli he’s intrigued by the idea—but one concern is how the town will replace the taxes lost when at least some of the property comes off the tax rolls.
Mr. Nardelli said his goal is to build 40 one- and two-bedroom apartments for veterans and their families, supported by medical, dining, and meeting space.
“Along with providing housing, we will provide a comprehensive recovery program that will include medical treatment and 12-step recovery program,” he said.
Once the vets have completed rehab, Mr. Nardelli said, they’ll be offered jobs at the facility—in the kitchen or in administrative or maintenance services.
“Employment supports our goal to provide housing for our vets for up to one year as they transition back into society,” he said.
Mr. Nardelli said an existing separate building already on the 88-acre site will be used to house doctors, nurses, and a pharmacy.
And while they hope to receive tax-exempt status for some of the buildings, others will stay on the tax roll, he said.
Though they supported the idea in concept—and stressed the importance of supporting veterans and creating local jobs—councilmen asked where the funding was coming from.
Mr. Nardelli said hopefully, at least in part from the Veterans Administration—which must sign on to the project.
The site already has water and sewer services and would likely be treated as a Planned Development District by the town Planning Board.
The estimated total cost of the project is $8.5 million.