Developers present public safety building plans

The public safety building would be "green" and LEED-certified, with passive heating and cooling systems, daylighting measures and possibly a green rooftop. LEED certification often provides grants and benefits from NYSERDA.

Yorkshire worked on the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, which recently attained LEED certification and saves approximately $66,000 in energy costs annually.

The developer did not suggest ways for the city to pay for the project, though their presentation noted that charging for use of the parking garage would be a sensible way to defer the cost of that structure.

Ideally, construction would begin at the end of next year's track season, leaving the parking lot available for increased traffic, and both structures would be finished by fall of 2010.

Bonacio calls

for many meters

Saratoga Springs-based Bonacio Construction presented an idea that, in theory, would actually make the city money while adding a public safety building, 910-space parking garage, restaurant, cinema and a retail/apartment space.

The idea is to do away with the two-hour free parking downtown and replace it with an electronic metering system. If instituted before construction begins, it would provide enough steady revenue to pay for the lease for the garage and police station, with money to spare.

It would take around $2 million to install a system that would eventually cover 4,060 downtown spaces in the new parking garage, existing parking lots and along city streets. That could be paid with the $4.5 million Bonacio is offering the city for the project land.

Using national estimates, they figure once the 600-space parking garage is up and running, the city can pay a $2.7 million yearly debt service with parking revenues, and still have $600,000 left over. The cinema and businesses would provide tax revenue, as well.

Bonacio proposed a 50-cent-per-hour price for garages and lots, and $1 for street parking along Broadway, though the city would ultimately be in control of all parking. For downtown residents and workers, a limited number of $130 annual passes would be available.

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