Vinnie Esposito, Finger Lakes regional director for Empire State Development
[UPDATE 4:08 p.m.] County spokesperson Justin Feasel just issued this response to the state's letter:
“Monroe County has maintained that we will only relocate our Children’s Detention Center with both a short-term and long-term solution in place. While we are appreciative of the State’s efforts to develop a short term solution, unfortunately the long-term answer lies solely in the hands of Legislature Democrats. If Minority Leader Andrews truly cares about this project, she alone could put politics aside and provide the 20th vote to make the our community’s vision for CityGate a reality.”
Monroe County will be able to move its children's detention center to the Industry Residential Center in Rush as of January 10, say state officials.
Vinnie Esposito, regional director of Finger Lakes Empire State Development, sent a letter to county officials this morning confirming the date. The letter says that the state will move ahead with the necessary renovation work at Industry. That work had been halted temporarily at the request of county officials, specifically Deputy County Executive Dan DeLaus, it says.
The letter says that state officials have decided, in concurrence with Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and Republican state Senator Joe Robach, to continue with the work.
"At this point, nearly 90 percent of the project had already been completed: approximately $1.1 million of capital improvement costs had been incurred, all project materials had been ordered and delivered to the site, and only approximately $100,000-$150,000 of labor costs remained," Esposito says in the letter.
The letter says that the county agreed, in writing, to reimburse the state for the renovation work, which is being performed under an emergency contract. It also agreed to lease the property on a short-term basis, the letter says. The state ultimately wants Monroe County to buy the two buildings that the detention center will occupy.
The children's detention center project has been sucked into a feud between Legislature Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are blocking a large borrowing measure in order to leverage Republicans into supporting a Legislature-led internal review of county-linked local development corporations.
Earlier this month, the Legislature added the detention center project to the county's multi-year capital improvement plan. But a measure that would have authorized borrowing for the project fell victim to the stalemate.
Legislature Republicans said the impasse threatened a key component of the CityGate project at Westfall and East Henrietta roads. In a recent meeting, developer Anthony Costello said that the detention center needed to be vacant by the end of the year so site work at CityGate could progress. The reason: Costello has secured Costco as a tenant, but the retailer wants a construction-ready site by June.
Esposito's letter says the move can happen within the CityGate and Costco projects' development timelines.
A county spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
ESD Letter to Monroe Co (CDC and Costco Projects) by jmouleatcity