The JCAA Westchester Campus located in Pleasantville at 1075 Broadway, which serves as a treatment center for emotionally troubled young people, has allegedly told Mount Pleasant officials that it plans to accept up to 25 migrant children, Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi announced on Saturday, Oct. 28.
According to Fulgenzi, the children are being directed to the facility by the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The news follows a state of emergency declared by Fulgenzi in late May intended to prevent migrant children from being sent to the facility, which is located in the Pleasantville Cottage School building.
"Unfortunately, once again new information was dropped on us without warning or discussion, continuing a pattern that we have become all too familiar with," Fulgenzi said.
Additionally, Fulgenzi also said the facility has been commencing renovation work on the property without the proper permits and has even turned away the town's building inspector and town attorney when they came to inspect the construction.
"The Town Building Department has recently issued multiple stop-work orders after inspectors found major renovation work underway on residential cottages at the property without permits for plumbing, electrical, and other work. But it did not stop there," Fulgenzi said, continuing, "They also told us that a boring machine was being brought to the site. This, too, would require a permit. To date, none has been filed.”
Fulgenzi said that the town would use the alleged illegal construction as a basis to "object to any additional residents being allowed to enter the facility including migrant children.”
In response to Fulgenzi's statement, JCCA officials denied any illegal construction work or turning officials away from the site.
"JCCA remains deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our clients, staff, and community. As such, workplace safety and regulatory compliance are among our highest priorities," JCCA officials said in a statement, adding, "We continue to strive for a productive and collaborative working relationship with the Town of Mount Pleasant, and have never refused any Town official requesting reasonable access to our campus, including building inspectors or Town attorneys."
JCCA officials also claimed that Mount Pleasant town leadership did not agree to a meeting until late October despite "multiple and frequent requests" since the end of May 2023.
The JCCA Pleasantville facility has been the center of much controversy over the past year, as Fulgenzi and Mount Pleasant Police Chief Paul Oliva have cited conditions at the center as evidence the campus should close.
Fifteen children with severe psychological and behavioral issues were removed from the facility in early October, according to Fulgenzi.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Armonk and receive free news updates.