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City's new police station takes next step forward, old one gets second opportunity

By Joanne Beck
New Batavia police station rendering
New Batavia Police Station rendering.

After some delay from waiting to hear about their major funding source for the city's new police station, city officials finally received word this week, City Manager Rachael Tabelski says.

The new police facility already approved for the corner of Alva Place and Bank Street parking lot will begin the process of going out for bid, with a final destination of completion for summer 2025, Tabelski said Tuesday.

"My good news for today is we are authorized to go to bid by USDA. And we'll be doing the bid process very soon; it’s about a six- or seven-week process, with the hopes of awarding the bids in January or February  … and then starting construction of the new police station as soon as winter breaks next year,” Tabelski said to The Batavian. 

In April, City Council voted to seek funding from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program as a potential funding source for the new police facility. The city had already been awarded a $2.5 million congressional grant, which is to be applied toward the cost of the facility to “address capacity concerns, building limitations, improve handicapped access and ensure quality police protection services now and into the future.”

As for payment of the remaining $13 million, the USDA resolution allowed the city to pursue funding of loan and/or grant funding extended to the city by the federal agency. Council also approved financing the cost of project construction of the police station with bond anticipation notes for the project with a maximum estimated cost of $15.5 million.

There will be a related presentation to City Council during its Nov. 13 meeting from Wyoming County consultant Rick Hauser. He had previously performed a reuse analysis of the current police station, the Brisbane Mansion, with suggestions and recommendations for what it may be best suited for. 

Tabelski said the city is considering either apartments or a boutique hotel, and given the Main Street site’s age, it probably would qualify for historic tax credits.

“So that’s good. Savvy developers know how to use those types of tax credits, and we’re hoping we do get some interest in the Brisbane,” she said. “I’ll be laying out the city’s potential process to RFP that building for a developer to come in and turn it into either apartments or a boutique hotel. And with that, keeping the historical elements of the mansion is one of the main goals of the reuse analysis.”

Hearing from the USDA about grant funds and long-term financing was the signal the city was waiting for to go out to bid on the police station, she said, which it did on Tuesday.

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