BATAVIA – The City Council this week agreed to spend $30,000 on an analysis to determine whether the police department needs a new headquarters or whether its present facility can be renovated.
Geddis Architects of Southport, Conn., was selected over 10 firms by a committee of police and city officials.
The 36-man department had been housed in an annex to the historic Brisbane Mansion, built in the mid-19th century by a wealthy businessman and son of one of the community’s founders.
When municipal offices were moved in 2004 from the mansion to a new two-story addition to the nearby City Centre mall, police took over the entire building although parts remain unused.
In a memo to Council members, City Manager Jason R. Molino said the structure has “public accessibility issues as well as health and safety concerns.” He said interior and exterior improvements are necessary to “maintain the facility as a safe working environment.”
Options include renovating the historic home, constructing a new facility or moving to the new Sheriff’s Administration Building, which would take police away from the downtown area.
Rose Mary Christian, the 6th Ward councilwoman and longest serving member, cast the only no vote. The plan is to have Geddis, with an office in Buffalo, work with Rebanks Pepper Littlewood, an architectural firm specializing in police facilities.
In other action, the Council authorized transferring fund balances totaling $900,000 to various projects from sidewalk reconstruction to fire department equipment. The Council also accepted a state grant of $24,493 from the state archives program for document storage and accessibility.