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City Council set to repeal its own vote to build a new RPD station, they didn't tell the builders

Berkeley Brean
Updated: September 15, 2020 06:12 PM
Created: September 15, 2020 04:55 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Tuesday night Rochester City Council is set to repeal its own vote to build a brand new $16 million RPD station on East Main Street.

The council is reversing itself because it's angry over the death of Daniel Prude, how the death and the investigation was kept secret from the council and now the departure of the entire RPD command staff. 

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But when News10NBC broke the story of this repeal vote last Friday, that's how the main contractor and the unions found out that their jobs are on the line.

"I got a phone call 5:30 on Friday and saying hey, they're pulling the project," Chris DiPasquale, of DiPasquale Construction said. "And we're like — we're neck deep."

DiPasquale's construction company won the bid to build the new police station on East Main Street. When the city council gave final approval in August, he started getting staff and buying material.

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "What's the impact here?"

Chris DiPasquale, DiPasquale Construction: "Well, for us, it's $9 million worth of work."

And 300 union jobs. 

Daniel Kuntz, Laborers Local 435: "With no work coming, it's tough. We were counting on this for the future."

Friday, legislation was submitted to the city council saying approval for the project is "hereby repealed." The vote is Tuesday night. Two of the sponsors, Council President Loretta Scott and council member Mitch Gruber voted yes in August. The third sponsor is council member Mary Lupien. She noted no in August and the site is in her district. 

Mary Lupien, city council member: "Of course it's frustrating for anyone who had been working on the project. It's been in the works for five years. But spending $16 million on a building that doesn't fit our community's needs is wasteful."

Lupien says this is a pause, not a cancellation. 

She says in the wake of Daniel Prude's death, policing could look different so this police station could look different. But the neighborhood was banking on this. 

"We purchased this one right here," said William Marcellette of the Keystone Management Group. The owner of the group, who lives in Boston, bought homes on Laura Street last November. 

The homes would sit in the backyard of the new station. 

William Marcellette, Keystone Management Group: "He was planning on purchasing more in this area as things were turning around. I think it'll make him second guess doing that now for sure."

The city was planning on two more new police stations. They're still in the planning process. They haven't been put out to bid.


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