Lowville couple voices concerns over proposed homeless housing

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - On Stowe Street in Lowville, an 1,800 square foot supportive housing project for homeless people in Lewis County is in the works.

It’s right across from the Widricks’ residence and they’re not happy about it.

The Widricks say there are a few things they are concerned about including safety, increased foot traffic, and the proposed project’s cost.

Number one ...safety ...followed by increased foot- traffic...and

“We’re going to have a constant rotation of substance abuse, homeless people across the street from my house,” said Laurie Widrick.

Snowbelt Housing is in charge of the project which would cost a little more than $13.7 million.

The housing will include 16 individual units - four for people with mental health illnesses, four for people with past substance abuse history, and 8 for the young adult population ages 18 to 25.

Brian Widrick says he thinks the former Glenfield Elementary School property is a better option for the project. County Manager Ryan Piche says it is an option.

The estimate for the Glenfield school project is $6.4 million, much less than Stowe Street.

“They look at that and say, oh, my God, that’s an outrageous amount of money for 20 people,” said Brian Widrick, Stowe Street property owner.

Piche says Glenfield is an option, but Snowbelt housing points out the Stowe Street location is closer to services the residents will need, like the Department of Social Services. Also, there could be a private developer with another use for Glenfield.