Until 2005, Hillcrest depot on Hoyt Avenue in the Town of Fenton, New York had accumulated a stockpile of various commodities that had the potential to be utilized for manufacturing during times of a national emergency. This depot contained materials such as heavy metals and low-level radioactive ores, which were all eventually removed.
The site consisted of a total of eight structures, which included three cold-storage warehouses with sizes ranging from 16,000 to 172,830 square feet, an office building, a maintenance building, a pair of guard houses, and a heated garage/storage building.
From 1950 to 2005, the government utilized the facility to store various hazardous commodities. As per a hazardous substances notice posted on the bidding site, environmental assessments that began in 1998 revealed the presence of 2.8 million pounds of chromium, 1 million pounds of columbium-tantalum, and 490,000 pounds of tungsten at the site. The Defense National Stockpile Center has classified the latter two materials as radioactive substances.
Under an agreement with the General Services Administration (GSA), Broome County had been utilizing a 40-acre portion of the central area of the facility for storage and law enforcement training. This agreement provided the county with a convenient location for the storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles, as well as a secure training facility for its law enforcement officers. The facility’s central location within the county also made it easily accessible for the county’s various departments, allowing for efficient management of resources.
I visited the site in December of 2015, which was an experience I won’t soon forget. With the permission of the local sheriff’s department, I was able to explore the facility and witness firsthand the remnants of its past use for storage.