Facility talks begin anew

Saratoga Springs City Council incumbents are giving freshmen committee members the opportunity to play catch-up on the ongoing new public safety building proposal.

Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim extended the invitation to his fellow council members and appointed liaisons to sit in on a new committee charged with reviewing potential building designs for the new facility. Kim said he expects that contractors BBL will have a design ready for council review soon.

The new City Council wants to understand how we came to these conclusions, said Kim. "We've studied this pretty thoroughly."

Discussion of relocating the city's police force to a new building outside of City Hall and renovating the lower floors of City Hall first began in 1976. In addition to the eight studies done more than 30 years ago, as of last year, several other studies have been conducted and Kim's new commission would be the second panel to place the new building under the microscope.

Tempers flared at meetings in the past year over council inaction to move on the $8 million allocated last year for the build.

"The problem is that there has been no design based on that $8 million," said Anthony "Skip" Scirocco, first-term Department of Public Works commissioner.

Before being elected commissioner, Scirocco reported to the police station nearly every day for 30 years as the city animal control officer.

He said he saw it go from an "OK place" to do business to the honeycomb of walls that make up its cramped interior these days. The need for a new building, or something, is there, he added.

Scirocco said he is in favor of the new committee to review the initial design plans, however, he said he is wary of what council members can do with it when it finally comes across their desk. For one, he asked, where is the project going, and furthermore, just what is the city going to get with $8 million.

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