TOWN OF WALLKILL – Officials announced Thursday morning that the Wallkill Golf Club clubhouse will become a designated emergency shelter, serving Mount Hope, Bloomingburg, and Circleville.
The town will be able to facilitate this change as a result of receiving a $100,000 State and Municipal Aid (SAM) grant through New York State. SAM grants provide capital funding for improvements. In this case, it will provide for a back-up generator and other improvements to make it an appropriate shelter.
Town of Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto said it is already an ideal location because it is on the other side of town from the other existing emergency shelter and it already has showers, a commercial kitchen, as well as space for bedding, which it may provide in instances residents need to stay for multiple days.
DenDanto added that just recently, residents in Circleville went days without power and that it is apparent to him these situations are only going to increase due to climate change.
“In this day and age, as we struggle with so many challenges, one of the biggest things that is probably undeniable at this point is climate change. Our community and so many other communities have been affected poorly by that,” said DenDanto. “Things are getting considerably difficult and as that process unfolds, it becomes more and more apparent that shelters like this are necessary,” he said.
Senator Jen Metzger (D-Rosendale), who’s office secured the grant, agreed and added it’s hard for small communities to provide the funding for these types initiatives, but every community should be doing them and its why grant funding like this is so important.
“All of our communities need to be doing this to prepare our communities to face the reality we face and make sure that everyone is protected, so I’m really thrilled to be able to help,” said Metzger.
The Wallkill Golf Club will continue to operate as usual until such a time that it needs to be utilized for an emergency.