Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 15, 2014

State parks halts work on police headquarters to allow for more public input

Niagara Gazette — Work on a state parks police station is being put on hold to allow for more public input on the project.

Work at the site has been stopped and a review of the parks police station relocation project will be conducted to allow the community and its leaders to again consider the project, the alternatives, and address any concerns they may have, Randy Simons, a spokesman for state parks, said Sunday night.

Simons said public meetings and conversations with community leaders on the project in December and January went very well.

"… when we brought this plan to the everyone the response to all of our public outreach in December and January was glowing," he said of the new police station. "It is apparent that some would like to review the plans again and discuss. We are more than happy to do so."

Construction crews have already begun clearing trees on state-owned vacant land near the Rainbow Bridge for the police station, which will replace the current one located on Goat Island in the Niagara River. Site remediation work may continue in the short term, Simons said.

Sunday's announcement comes after a week of public outcry over the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's plans for a police station along the gorge.

Assemblyman John Ceretto and State Sen. George Maziarz sent a letter to state parks on Friday asking the agency to reconsider a plan to place a new, 7,000 square foot parks police station on the Niagara River Gorge.

Both Ceretto and Maziarz say the station would detract from the natural beauty of the Niagara River Gorge and that there are alternative sights that the city of Niagara Falls has suggested.

State parks officials have defended the decision, saying a concrete barrier running between the selected site and the gorge already mars the view.

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