While the voice of Gossips was working the special election at St. Mary's Academy last night, checking in Second Ward voters, former mayor Rick Scalera was making a presentation to the Common Council about a scheme to build a new facility for the Hudson Police Department and the City Court at the corner of Fourth and Columbia streets. The notion of building a new police and court building on that corner has been promoted before, back in 2005, when Scalera, then mayor, wanted BBL, the design/build firm that brought us the county office building at 325 Columbia Street and the central firehouse at 77 North Seventh Street, to build a police and court building there. This time, there's a new wrinkle. The four-story building, which will be built for the City by the Galvan Initiatives Foundation, will include 33 units of "permanent housing for formerly homeless adults."
It sounds like Galvan is recycling the Starboard idea, pitched to the Common Council two years ago by Eric Galloway's other not-for-profit, the Lantern Organization, and withdrawn when it ran up against very vocal opposition from the community. This time, instead of putting the 33 units of permanent supportive housing over retail space on Warren Street, they're proposing putting those units over a municipal building on Columbia Street and sweetening the deal by solving the City's decade-old problem of having to improve its police and court facilities without having to spend a few million up front. One wonders, however, if solving this fiscal challenge by creating more low-income housing and having to lease the police and city court building from the Galvan Initiatives Foundation for the foreseeable future may not in the long run be too high a price to pay.
For details of this project, which is called "Civic Hudson," see the Galvan Initiatives Foundation blog.