New Paltz Child Care Center Awaits Lease

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The lease agreement for the New Paltz Child Care Center has yet to be signed.

On Oct. 22, the New Paltz Town Board motioned to provide a lease to the Child Care Center during a dialogue between the town board and community members.

Concerns over the building’s condition have led some to question whether or not it is financially feasible to continue to operate the Child Care Center.

In the past, the town board granted the center a budget of $2,000 for repairs. During the October 22 meeting repairs to the building’s roof were estimated to be between $25,000 and $50,000. A video of the meeting is available on YouTube.

“What I think this board would like to do is make a motion tonight for us to enter into a lease agreement with the school district,” Town Supervisor Susan Zimet said during the Oct. 22 meeting.

The Child Care Center, located at 31 Sunset Ridge in New Paltz, gained access to its current building after a series of agreements. The New Paltz School District leased the land to the town board. This lease gave the town board the rights to the building. The town board then leased the building to the Child Care Center, which operated out of their previous building since 2000.

Previous lease agreements between the New Paltz School District and the New Paltz town board covered 10 years. The current lease is anticipated to last 20 months.

“At this point if they discontinue the lease and didn’t give us that 20 month extension, 22 children would not have child care,” New Paltz Child Care Center President Kerri McIntyre said. “That’s what the 20 months is there for — to open up communications with the entire town board to come up with a solution.”

The New Paltz Child Care Center offers services to children ages six weeks through kindergarten, including accommodations for children with special needs. The Center currently employs seven full-time staff members.

“I would not be in favor of us leaving them in a situation where they would not be able to provide the services they have,” Town Board Councilman Dan Torres said.

The town board budget no longer contains a line dedicated to the Child Care Center. According to Councilman Torres, money the town board would use for any repairs to the Child Care Center would come from the Highway Department. He said this would not restrict funds from the Center.

On Jan. 1, 2016 the newly elected members of the New Paltz Town Board will enter office, encounter this lease agreement and have to act as they see fit.

“I am very hopeful that the new board will see this as a valued community resource as the families that utilize the Center do,” McIntyre said.

The next town board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.