If you’ve driven into the Village of Wappingers Falls, down past the County Players at the Falls Theater, you might have noticed the makeover of a formerly pink apartment complex in an adjacent lot. That complex is now is owned by Community Services Programs (CSP), a non-profit agency located next to the building.
“It was a focal point of crime in the area, so we did something about it,” said Chief Executive Officer of Community Services Programs, Inc., Margaret (Peg) T. O’Leary, of the complex, which now is fully occupied.
CSP didn’t stop at the apartment complex renovation. The agency also purchased the neighboring lot, which it then sold to the County Players for an upcoming expansion of the theater.
For the last 40 years, CSP has been working to improve the quality of life for area residents through affordable housing and community projects. In January, the agency held a ribbon cutting at its Meadow Ridge II residential complex in Beacon which was attended by local dignitaries, the complex’ staff and residents, and community members. To date, CSP has developed 458 rental and homeownership residences totaling more than $80 million and counting since its beginnings, including projects in Dutchess County and select sites in Ulster and Orange Counties.
One area the agency has had considerable impact is in the Village of Wappingers Falls, said O’Leary.
“Just take a walking tour of the area and you can see what we have done,” she said.
But be sure you wear comfortable shoes because it will be a long walk.
For one, the agency was key in restoring buildings at 2683, 2685 and 2687 West Main Street that were damaged by fire in the late 1970s and remained vacant until CSP purchased and rehabilitated them. For another, CSP earned a $25,000 grant to buy and install a municipal clock, which is located right by the falls. In addition, the Mill Street Public Parking lot was also a recipient of the CSP touch, and the agency saved and remodeled the former Town Hall Building at 7 Mill Street, which had been slated for demolition in 1987.
“We saved a piece of history,” said O’Leary.
Additionally, CSP created wheelchair accessibility at Grinnell Library on East Main Street with the purchase and installation of an elevator, and helped to replace the roof at the Mesier Homestead at the corner of Main Street and South Avenue.
“Down at Industrial Park, John Fedigan (owner of Lighting & Electronics, Inc.) and his brother, Bob Fedigan, were working hard, but the area needed that bridge,” said O’Leary. “Done.”
With its subsidiary, Hudson Valley Housing Development Fund Company, Inc., CSP also has developed more than 330 rental and homeownership residences totaling more than $60 million. Of those endeavors, some of which were completed by CSP alone and others in collaboration with not-for-profits, private companies, individuals and municipalities, are Beacon’s Meadow Ridge Development, a 54-unit complex for working families, and Meadow Ridge II, a 52-unit residence for those aged 62 and older.
More projects are in the offing, with CSP, as always, moving full steam ahead due, said O’Leary, to CSP’s board of directors and staff.
“We have a board of directors who are volunteers and, because of their professionalism and expertise, we are able to move quickly on projects,” she said.
Community Services Programs, 5 Givans Avenue, Wappingers Falls, NY, (845) 297-2004, www.facebook.com/Community-Services-Programs-Inc-1661289257468423/
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