Investigator Dan LaFrance stands outside the Ticonderoga Police Department in Burgoyne Road. The Ti town board has directed its attorney to begin negotiations to lease the former Rite Aid building on Montcalm Street as a new police headquarters.
The Ticonderoga Police Department, after several years of discussion, may be moving to a new home downtown.
The Ti town board has directed its attorney to begin negotiations to lease the former Rite Aid building on Montcalm Street as a new police headquarters.
The board’s action followed a presentation Oct. 13 by a committee that has been investigating the current police building on Burgoyne Road and options.
The committee — that includes trustee Steve Whitford, Police Chief Mark Johns, Ross Kelley, Rolly Allen, Margaret Lauman, Dave Woods and Sharon Reynolds — recommended leasing the former Rite Aid and renovating it.
The committee studied square footage and availability of buildings in the community, parking, location, flexibility to expand if the need arises and costs.
Ticonderoga officials have long discussed moving the police downtown, but accelerated the discussion in December 2009 when structural issues arose at the police headquarters.
The nearly 70-year-old concrete block structure on Burgoyne Avenue developed a large crack from the foundation up the center of the back wall raising questions about the building’s future.
In January 2010 local officials began talks with the owner of the former Rite Aid building on Montcalm Street in hopes of relocating the police department.
The former Rite Aid building has an assessed value of $403,000, which makes it too expensive for the town to purchase. The building has 7,800 square feet.
According to the committee report, Comm Net Lease Realty, the Florida-based company that owns the building, will rent the building to the town for $18,500 a year. The panel estimates utilities will cost $15,000 a year, insurance $3,000 and renovation $10,000. The renovation will be financed with a no-interest loan. The committee estimates the total cost of housing the police in the former Rite Aid will be $46,500 in 2013.
The building has more space that the police department needs, according to the committee. The group feels the extra space can be converted into three offices that will generate $22,000 in income for the town.
That income along with the $15,000 budgeted for the current police station, means it will cost the town $9,000 a year more to have the police department located on Montcalm Street, the committee claims.
At the same time, Comm Net Lease Realty retains ownership of the building and continues to pay $7,300 a year in town, county and school taxes, according to the committee report.
The committee recommended entering into a lease for the former Rite Aid building, noting the space meets all the requirements of the Ti PD, strengthens police presence downtown, is the least costly option for a police station and keeps the building on the tax roll.
The police commission investigated other possibilities and found them lacking. The Armory was excluded for police use since it houses youth activities and police don’t want children and criminals in the same building. The downstairs of the Community Building was excluded because of lack of space and parking.