When the Willey family built two homes on Old Niskayuna Road in 1912, their plan was to inhabit the homes, working the nearly 50 acres of farmland that stretched behind the adjoining yards.
What they did not expect was that the homes would be put on moving trucks and transported to the Town of Colonie Municipal Training Facility on Wade Road to be used for emergency services training operations.
The two homes were bought by Peter Campito, managing member of Campito Properties, LLC., after the homes were vacant since 2005. At the time of the purchase, Campito said the properties were worth about $200,000 each.
Mary Willey said her husband was the last person in the Willey family to own and live in one of the homes, aside from her mother in-law, before they were sold to Campito.
Campito said he was approached by the municipal training facility and asked if the houses could be used for training purposes. Campito then decided to donate the two homes to the town's training facility.
After speaking with several moving companies, Chief of the Town of Colonie Department of Fire Services Peter Lattanzio said the town learned that it would be possible to pick up the homes and move them to a new foundation in tact. While a costly project, after hearing it could be done, New York State Assemblymen Bob Reilly, D-Newtonville, and Jack McEneny, D-Albany, got together and pledged to contribute matching amounts to the project.
While the amount of funding the assemblymen will be
contributing is not yet being announced, Lattanzio said that making this project a reality will be able to help emergency services departments in the town in so many ways.
We're going to set them up just like residential homes, he said. "We want to create realistic atmospheres."