Questions arise about future of Columbia County youth center

Local

CANAAN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Berkshire Farm Center and Service for Youth could house up to 45 Unaccompanied Alien Children in the near future. It’s CEO fielded question from town residents who said they know little about what goes behind its campus’s closed doors.

The information session was the idea of newly elected Town Supervisor Brenda Adams.

While Adams ran for supervisor, she said she received many question about the center that no one in the town knew the answer to.

“It’s very difficult in a small rural community to have information. We don’t have a newspaper in town,” Adams said.

The center has sat in the community for 130 years and temporarily houses “traumatized and vulnerable children.”

It’s new CEO, Brian Parchesky, addressed concerns neighbors have with recent issue with some of the kids they house. One resident claimed kids broke into his business, and another said one tried to break into his house.

Parchesky assured residents the kids are being monitored.

A large part of questions from residents tonight were directed to a pre-prepared list of answers most of those question involved the prospect of Unaccompanied Alien Children being added to the center.

“Not as much information as we would have all liked,” said resident Deborah Gallent.

Though she didn’t have many of her questions answered, Gallent said the meeting did clear rumors swirling throughout town.

“It’s important for us to know and I know there’s some people who would like to – if those kids come here and they’re in trouble – they’d really like to help them,” Gallent said.

Adams said there will be more conversation in the future with Berkshire Farm.

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