The trucks are leaving, but the repair shop is staying.
For one more year, at least.
The New York State Army National Guard’s 1427th Medium Truck Company will be moving permanently to the Queensbury Readiness Center over the next few weeks, but the Guard will continue to operate a regional field maintenance shop at the site.
“That will be staying there even though we are moving the unit out,” said Eric Durr, public affairs director for the New York State Department of Military and Naval Affairs. “This is a shop that is for the more complicated stuff, which we call the 30-level maintenance.”
Durr did say plans are in the works to build a new regional field maintenance shop on the site of the Queensbury Readiness Center within a period of the next 12 to 24 months.
“The plan is that the new field maintenance shop will be built in Queensbury and at that point, we will look at what we will do with the Whitehall Armory,” said Durr. “But for the next year or more, we will be there.”
Durr said the armory itself will be winterized during the cold season in order to keep costs at a minimum.
“We want to make sure that we are not making the taxpayers pay more than they have to,” said Durr.
Durr said that the main reason behind the move of the 1427th was to get the unit into newer facilities.
“The Queensbury Center is modern, with brand new offices, extra acreage and plenty of parking space,” said Durr. “It is a state-of-the-art facility designed for the 21st century. Whitehall, like many of the old armories that we have, was designed for the 19th century and the offices and other areas have had to be retro-fitted over and over again. Our goal with every unit is to move them into new facilities.”
Durr said there are currently 53 operating armories throughout the state of New York, and there are both positives and negatives to having that many facilities.
“The good things for us is that it helps with recruiting when you see our presence in the community and there is a local place in case of emergency,” said Durr. “The down side is that it costs more to maintain everything, especially some of the older buildings.”
While Durr said there was no intention in the near future to close the armory, word about a possible closure always leads to certain responses.
“People usually go two ways when they hear things like this,” said Durr. “They do not want to see us leave is what some say, and then there are others who want the building and want is for as cheap as possible. As of right now, we do not have the building in Whitehall on any kind of list.”