The Cicero Police Department will be moving next year, but not to its original intended home at the former South Bay Fire Department building on Cicero Center Road. Instead, the town of Cicero will purchase the former New York State Police barracks at 6200 Route 31 for $475,000.
Cicero Town Supervisor Mark Venesky said the building’s most recent tenants — the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, Local Union No. 195 — approached him and asked if the town would be interested in purchasing the building.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Venesky told the Star-Review.
The town will be able to put its $500,000 Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) grant toward the purchase of the Route 31 building. Venesky said Assemblyman Al Stirpe and State Sen. Dave Valesky worked with DASNY to allow Cicero to repurpose the grant money.
Back in 2015, Stirpe supported Cicero’s application for a $250,000 DASNY grant to upgrade the South Bay Fire Department building. The town would have had to match $50,000.
The sale is expected to close in February 2018, upon which the police department will move into its new home.
“We’re in a position financially that we can pay cash for the building and they’ll reimburse us in February,” Venesky said. “We’re looking to move in February with not one nickel of Cicero tax money [spent].”
The building has been renovated recently and includes a new roof, a dual heating system, showers and lockers, plenty of office space and an attached, heated garage. The town will convert part of the basement into a prisoner holding cell.
“The building is just beautiful,” Venesky said of the Route 31 building, which once served as a training facility for the roofers’ union.
Venesky said the cost of renovations needed at the South Bay building would exceed the cost of purchasing the former state police barracks. The town has put about $10,000 of improvements into the building to upgrade the boilers and reconnect it to National Grid.
Cicero purchased the building from the South Bay Fire Department in 2015 for $1, and the fire department has the right of first refusal now that the site will not be used.
“I want my dollar back, by the way,” Venesky said.
With efforts to share services and consolidation on the horizon, Venesky said if the Cicero Police Department were to merge with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, he would recommend turning the Route 31 facility into an OCSO substation.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.