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Batavia City Council looking into building new Police Headquarters

BATAVIA – The City Council, following the recommendation of its police facility task force, has decided to take a hard look at building a new Police Headquarters – which could cost up to $10 million – on a 5-acre parcel on Swan Street.

The board, at its meeting Monday night, gave the green light to City Manager Jason R. Molino and City Attorney George S. Van Nest to develop a strategy that would include the purchase of the land and an outline of the costs associated with the acquisition, specifically preparation, environmental remediation, design and contingency expenses.

Molino reported that the construction cost of the proposed 17,900-square-foot facility would be around $5.37 million, or $300 per square foot. The price tag increases to around $10 million due to the other related costs. The department now is headquartered in the former Brisbane Mansion on West Main Street.

“The current building is in complete disrepair, so it’s time to move forward and make that hard decision,” Council President Eugene A. Jankowski Jr. said.

“We have gone 30 years without making that decision, and I think we got off pretty light.”

Councilman Alfred L. McGinnis, a member of the task force, said the Swan Street site was the “best option” of the sites considered but acknowledged there are currently “too many variables” to make a final decision.

After receiving instructions from City Council, Van Nest said that he and Molino will embark on a step-by-step process, which could include hiring consultants. He indicated that they will provide regular updates to the board.

While Jankowski said that he believes new construction is the “most economical and viable at this point,” he was quick to add that he is making no guarantees regarding the Swan Street location.

“If that site doesn’t pan out, we will move in a different direction,” he said.

In other developments, the Council:

• Approved a $1.8 million contract with Accadia Site Contracting of Depew for the reconstruction of Summit Street this spring.

The company’s bid came in 15 percent less than the engineer’s estimate for the project. Eighty percent of the project will be paid for with federal funds and the remaining 20 percent by state funds.

• Agreed to consider a resolution calling for an intermunicipal arrangement with the Town of Batavia for the design, construction and inspection cost sharing of the Ellicott Trail Project, a 4.6-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail through the city and town.

The city and town each will be responsible for $170,000 of the $1.3 million projected cost. Construction is expected to begin in 2017.

• Voted to consider a new five-year lease with a five-year renewal option with Firland Management to operate the Falleti Ice Arena on Evans Street. The proposal increases the annual lease payments paid by Firland from $20,000 in 2016-17 to $25,000 over the five years.

Both the Ellicott Trail Project and the ice rink lease items are expected to be voted upon at the Council’s next business meeting on March 14.