Jamestown City Council heard a presentation on a reduced cost dog park and a plea from the Police Union for more financial assistant for the Police Department at its work session Monday.
Parks Manager Dan Stone presented an updated plan for a proposed dog park at Bergman Park that reduced the cost by 53% from $269,950 to $126,000.
Stone said they eliminated a walking path and changed over to a stone dust base that has been used in five dog parks in the Rochester area. He said other cost savings came from removing equipment like dog toys and tables, “And we’ve looked at reducing some of the costs, rather than having four water stations available, reducing that down to one water station which is actually going to replace an existing drinking fountain in the park right at the main entrance there. We’ve also reduced by taking out shade pavilions and the concrete that would be needed to put those structures on. As you can see that is a considerable savings of $65,000.”
Stone said trees would be planted to provide shade instead. He said the size of the proposed park is just a little wider than the dog park in the village of Lakewood. Councilmembers Tom Nelson and Jeff Russell both expressed that the revised plan is much more palatable from a cost standpoint.
Kendall Club PBA President Sam Piazza spoke at privilege of the floor to council, saying this is the opportune time to purchase police equipment and cars, “Give us the opportunity to do our job better. Again, we have cars downstairs that have 134,000 miles. The front line cars, on average, are right around 90,000 miles on it. That’s just the miles. These cars are worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They don’t shut off. So not only do they have miles on it, they sit and idle. The engines are getting bad in them.”
Piazza said the $144,000 worth of 60 new radios just purchased by the city don’t have the capacity to talk to other police agencies, “We have to get a trunking system to update for us to talk to the county and the sheriff’s department. Jeff [Russell], you were a cop on the streets for many years. We rely on outside agencies when we’re at minimum or below what we should have on the road. Again, we can’t talk to a guy that’s out back if a guy is running out with a gun. You don’t know. Okay? So again, we need to make sure the money that’s here. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to make good on public safety.”
Niether Piazza nor Police Chief Tim Jackson had an exact cost for how much the trunking system would cost, but Jackson said it was significant.
Piazza also presented photos that showed water leaking into the police department’s indoor range. The range was included in proposed capital projects at a cost of $190,000, but was not funded in the proposed 2022 budget.
Finance Chair Council member at Large Kim Ecklund requested council members send her their budget proposals by Wednesday ahead of the budget public hearing that’s set for 6pm, Friday, November 19th. Council has not outruled an additional special meeting on Monday, November 22nd to continue budget deliberations. Council is scheduled to vote on the budget with amendments at its Monday, November 29th voting session.