After more than two decades of development, Rockland County has now replaced a facility that had been in use since the early 20th century.
On the morning of Tuesday, November 14, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Highway Superintendent Charles “Skip” Vezzetti led a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the County’s new highway facility. Located at 26 Scotland Hill Road in Chestnut Ridge, the opening of this space has been a long time coming, as the former facility in New City had been in use since the 1930s and was the oldest County Highway facility in the state.
Though the project was originally intended to begin in 2001, financial problems in the county delayed the project until County Executive Day revived it. In 2020, he and the county legislature passed a bond resolution for the $29.5 million needed for its construction. The property was purchased by Superintendent Vezzetti from former Governor George E. Pataki for just one dollar.
Built on 24 acres, the space consists of seven buildings totaling 113,000 square feet. The new highway facility includes a maintenance repair building and indoor storage for the county fleet. It is able to store 10,000 tons of salt—doubling the county’s current capacity—and includes generators and fuel capacity to maintain operations for two weeks without outside assistance.
The facility is also a green building, including natural and recycled materials for construction and passive solar, which converts sunlight into usable heat. The space also has a large-vehicle wash station. This will increase the life expectancy of county vehicles by 20%, saving approximately $190,000 per year. Towns and villages will be able to utilize this wash, increasing the lifespans of their own fleets, with the ability to purchase salt from the Chestnut Ridge facility as needed. There is now also easy access to the administrative offices, which house Administration, Engineering, Drainage, Surveyors and Traffic Safety.
All of these amenities, along with its central location, should allow the Rockland County Highway Department to serve county residents in the most efficient manner with a far lower average emergency response time.
County Executive Ed Day, who cut the ribbon on the facility door, emphasized that the opening of the facility did not greatly affect taxpayers.
“This project has been a number of years in the making…There’s a lot of advantages to this. We got (the facility) designed and ready to go at a time where our rates were getting lower and lower, so for the taxpayers, the cost was minimal.”