Sunday, August 11, 2013

'Wet house' up for public debate on Tuesday

Architect's rendering of the proposed 'wet house.'
It's rare that any Joseph House project goes through without some controversy.

The latest plan for the shelter that ministers to the down-and-outers of the city and its environs is to build something called the Ida Street Inn to become a permanent residence for homeless alcoholics.

In other words, they'd still be dealing with alcoholics. They'd just have a nice place to live all in one group. What in the parlance is known as a "wet house."

A community forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Sage College’s Neff Athletic Center, 1 Canal Avenue. The project plans go before the city Planning Commission at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall which, at least this week, is located  at 433 River Street.

At a community forum in June, Joseph House officials heard complaints and concerns about housing alcoholics in a residential area and allowing them to consume alcohol on the premises.

The shelter has an option to purchase the parcel of land that now houses the former Bizzarro Funeral Home on Ida Street. In its current plan, the proposed site of the new building has been moved a bit closer to the Poestenkill Creek so it has less proximity to residences.

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