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Millwood Train Station May Be Demolished; Replica Considered

While demolition permit is being requested, town is interested in building an exact replica on county property.

Larry Rotta, a member of the family that owns the old Millwood train station, has applied for a permit to demolish the structure, New Castle Building Inspector William Maskiell confirmed.

Last fall, Rotta's father, Leo Rotta told the town . Leo Rotta died in December and ownership of the property went to his children and wife. In recent months, the family , which is part of the former Putnam rail line that operated through Millwood from 1888 to 1958. The right of way of the former line now serves at the North County Trailway bike path.

In January, Paulette Rotta Beldotti, Rotta's sister and co-owner of the site, told Patch such as donating the station to the town or moving it onto another part of family property. She could not be reached for comment.

The only step that Rotta needs to take now is to sign off on paperwork, Maskiell explained. The structure's electrical system has been disconnected and New Castle's Water Department has signed off.

"There's not too much holding it up," Maskiell explained about the remaining obstacles for demolishing the structure.

Maskiell has been following the status of the station since last June, when Millwood Task Force members called for the town to demand that Leo Rotta take steps to fix the building, which was felt to pose a safety risk. Maskiell contacted Leo Rotta about the matter last summer, preceding the announcement of his intention to tear down the building.

Replica May Rise on County Land

While the chances of the original train station being lost have increase, New Castle Supervisor Susan Carpenter announced that a replica is being considered.

Carpenter, who first announced the plan at Thursday's Millwood Task Force meeting, explained that it would involve building the structure on adjacent land owned by Westchester County, which is to the south of the Rotta property. The county, which she said has expressed interest, would pay for the cost and make its money back through renting out the building. It is assumed for now that a tenant would be an eatery on a small scale, like a concession stand.

“It’s a bonus for the town. It’s a bonus for people on the bike trail," Carpenter said.

Under the proposal Carpenter described, students in an architectural design program at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES would come up with drawings and create cut wooden pieces that would be assembled. The next step would be for the drawings to be submitted to the county. Unknown costs at this point include wood and a foundation.

Carpenter believes that the will be affordable for the county.

“It’s not all that much monety for them,” she said, noting that they'll make the cost back once they lease the building out for a concession stand.

“I think that’s a great idea," Task Force member Michael Stern replied, noting that an image of the original train station is displayed at town hall on a flag.

John Ehrlich May 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM
A rebuilt stop along the bike trail would of course be nice but personally I believe the plan should be modified to draw the Rt. 100 bike path riders a few hundred yards into the business center of Millwood. There we have perfect bike stops like Tazza Cafe, a deli and of course Westchester's famous 24 hour pit stop Rocky's. Also Drug Mart and A&P for trail needs and two hardware stores which would be most helpful for bicycle repairs.
HV-Rob May 07, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Regarding the statement that "There's not too much holding it up" as a justification for demolishing this historic railroad station, one should examine the restoration of the Hopewell Junction Station. Millwood is in very good condition by comparison. Hopewell even had a huge hole in its roof. http://hopewelldepot.org/ http://www.kinglyheirs.com/CNE/HopewellJunctionRestoration.html The Millwood station should be moved to the county-owned land and restored. In this era of "green" building construction, there is nothing that is more "green" than reusing an existing building. -Rob Yasinsac
Tom Auchterlonie May 07, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Hi Rob, In his quote, the building inspector was referring to the procedures needed before getting a demolition permit.
HV-Rob May 07, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Thanks for the clarification about the specific comment. Nevertheless, the Millwood station is a prime candidate for preservation and reuse and hardly in need of demolition.

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