State halts construction of new Parks Police station

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Plans to build a new Parks Police headquarters in Niagara Falls State Park are on hold indefinitely, as of Sunday.

“Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of State Parks announced today that the work that’s currently being done at the site will stop tomorrow,” Empire State Development Regional President Sam Hoyt told News 4 Sunday evening by phone.

The decision comes in response to some community members raising questions about the planned location of the new building, right on the Niagara Gorge, behind the Howard Johnson Hotel, near where a section of the old Robert Moses Parkway is being removed.

“That space can be used for something that would benefit the community, benefit tourists. We just don’t see it as an appropriate location,” Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board Chairwoman, Lisa Vitello, told News 4 last Wednesday.

“We had a very robust public outreach process that included at least two public meetings, a number of meetings with elected officials and community leaders that date back to December and January,” said Hoyt. “But the bottom line is… We want to do it right. We want the public to support the improvements, and that’s exactly what we are going to do.”

Part of the reason for moving the police headquarters from its current home, on Goat Island, was to expand space to tourist activities there.

Hoyt said the state is likely to schedule more public meetings to solicit feedback on this and alternate locations for the new police station in the coming weeks.

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