Jamestown City Council has approved a resolution to purchase the former Hartley Buick property on Washington Street for a new Central Garage. The cost to purchase 1425 through 1505 Washington Street from Tim Shults is $400,000.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the original plan was to build a new Central Garage on Crescent Street for a cost of $4 million, but costs have since gone up astronomically for a new build. Sundquist said with the purchase of the Hartley Buick property, the city can do an adaptive reuse renovation of the garage on that site to accommodate some of the larger city vehicles like fire engines.
He added the construction costs for the project of $1.7 million combined with the $400,000 property acquisition costs actually save the City $1.9 million over the original cost estimates, even with parcels coming off the tax rolls, “On average, that entire parcel has an annual tax revenue of about $18,000. When our Comptroller Ryan Thompson ran through the numbers, looked at the total amount of the additional bond, plus the construction costs, we are looking at with this savings a break even of about 122 years to make up for that savings just in the annual tax revenue lost.”
New York State has committed a $1 million grant toward the project.
Department of Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says the current garage is out of room with vehicles even parked outside, “It’s just really not a good situation. And also, it affects the DPW itself because we have equipment parked outside so part of this allows us to get stuff back inside, let the Fleet Management Department, hopefully by the first of the year, be up and running at that site once we get the addition put onto the building.”
Lehman says with the new Central Garage, DPW won’t have to lease additional space for vehicles and be able to bring everything back onto one campus.
Council also approved new fire reporting software at a cost of $154,675. Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon said the software will bring the Fire Department up to date in large way, “A lot of reporting for the Fire Department is still done on paper by hand. Not only will the software increase our efficiency when it comes to fire reporting, it’ll help us maintain compliance with the National Fire Incident Reporting System. It also has the added benefit of being fully integrated with the County’s E-911 Center.”
Coon said this means information about pre-plans and hydrant information will be integrated into the system for when crews respond to incidents or have to write reports.