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SARATOGA SPRINGS: Quotes arrive for safety facilities

A brand new police station and court facility would cost between $15 and $17 million, consultants told the city's Public Safety Commission on Thursday, July 12.

The three-story, 47,000 square-foot building would house the city's police department and courts, and update the facilities currently available at City Hall.

Kevin Marren, a consultant from LaBella Associates, presented the findings of a committee formed in January 2006 to come up with proposals for two facilities: a new court/police building and an east side emergency services building.

Marren said the committee looked at seven sites for the EMS facility in geographic proximity to one another and the city, taking into account wetland areas and utility limitations.

The possible downtown sites are the Woodlawn Avenue parking lot, the county building on Woodlawn, the Algonquin Building parking lot, the parking lot between High Rock Avenue and Maple Avenue off Lake Avenue, and a site on Union Avenue.

LaBella consultants recommended the fire station be located on the corner of Union Avenue and Dyer Switch Road. It would have four vehicle bays and house four to six firefighters 24 hours a day.

The east side EMS building would house a full fire station and give rescue crews quicker access to the Northway. Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim said he is very concerned with the emergency response time to the eastern plateau of the city.

In 1980, there were 778 homes in that area and in 2000, that number reached 2,400. Kim said that with full build-out there could be 900 more homes. He said the city should be responding to an emergency within five minutes, and in 2002, about 13 percent of the calls were responded to in within six minutes or less. In 2003, the response time increased to 51 percent where it took more than six minutes.

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