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Eastchester Girl Scouts Retain Highland Avenue Cabin

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – For a while, it looked as if the Girl Scouts of Eastchester and Tuckahoe might lose their home as they battled with the town over a new lease for their Highland Avenue cabin.

After working with town officials, the two sides came to a resolution on the lease and will officially accept the conditions at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Eastchester Town Board meeting at Town Hall.

In a letter circulated to members and supporters, the Eastchester and Tuckahoe Girl Scouts announced some of the conditions of the new lease.

“Girl Scouts will continue to maintain and use the Girl Scout Cabin,” it said. “Girl Scouts will control the calendar, and Girl Scouts will continue to let town groups use the cabin as they have in the past.”

Although it appears the standoff has ended, officials with the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson were reluctant to jinx the success by being overconfident.

“We don’t think we should comment on the new lease with the town until it’s actually signed,” Director of Communications Jean Havens said. “Not until the board meeting do we feel that it’s safe to comment. Things might change; you never know.”

Officials with the Town of Eastchester did not respond to inquiries on the lease Monday.

The stalemate occurred when the town sought control of the “house that Girl Scout cookies built,” named because its construction was funded by profits from the popular snack in 1958. Since it was built, the cabin’s lease had been regularly renewed for $1 annual payments. As part of the lease, the Girl Scouts assumed responsibility for maintaining the property. The last lease expired Nov. 1.

In its letter, the Girl Scouts expressed gratitude to several local officials. Eastchester Town Supervisor Anthony Colavita was not mentioned in the statement.

“We would like to especially thank Mayor Mary Marvin of Bronxville, Mayor Steve Ecklond of Tuckahoe, County Legislator Sheila Marcotte and State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin [D-Scarsdale],” it read. “These four people were willing to listen to our concerns and offer their help to make this new lease happen.”

Pamela Anderson, CEO of the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, has signed off on the lease, and the Town Board needs to approve it Tuesday night, said Judy Fix, a volunteer scout leader.

“The Girl Scout leaders of Tuckahoe and Eastchester are very excited to have this lease,” she said. “We can now continue what we do best: building girls of courage, confidence and character.”

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