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Letters: Fate of Freeport Armory

Freeport Armory in Freeport on June 1, 2013.

Freeport Armory in Freeport on June 1, 2013. Credit: Ian J. Stark

The Freeport Armory has been on the village's radar for municipal purposes for some time ["Stop Hooper's armory plan," Editorial, July 2]. The importance of securing it became much greater after superstorm Sandy devastated our public works complex. It's important to move the department out of a flood hazard zone.

Newsday correctly points out that the intergovernmental transfer of obsolete armories has benefited other municipalities on Long Island, and Freeport would make good use of this one.

What makes the Village of Freeport's argument for the armory even more compelling is the fact that when New York State sought the land for the training of personnel for defense, the village conveyed the property to the state for $100 by a resolution on May 17, 1949.

The only logical thing for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to do is veto the bill from Deputy Assemb. Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) and return the favor to Freeport residents by giving us the opportunity to acquire the land that our citizens dutifully gave to the state in our country's time of need 65 years ago.

William H. White Jr., Freeport

Editor's note: The writer is the village's deputy mayor.

Whatever decision Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reaches regarding the former Freeport Armory, one story should be added to history. The late Sen. Norman J. Levy (R-Merrick) did not want either the Village of Freeport or a private entity to take possession of the armory; he wanted it to remain open.

Especially following the 1990 nor'easters that impacted his South Shore district, Levy wanted a mobilization center close enough the water, and safe from its waves, a central location that high-axle vehicles and reservists could access with ease. He wanted a place where residents could seek shelter and supplies, and following a storm, an operations center for state agencies.

I served as one of the senator's lead staff people on the senate's defense diversification plans during those years, and I recall being directed to notify the Village of Freeport that he would not support a transfer to the village.

Kevin Mulrooney, Williston Park