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Ti negotiating to move police department

TICONDEROGA - Negotiations are under way to move the Ticonderoga Police Department downtown.

Local officials are in talks with the owner of the former Rite Aid building on Montcalm Street in hopes of relocating the police department.

"It's all in flux," said Wayne Taylor, Ti police commissioner. "I'm confident and hopeful we can do something."

Ticonderoga officials have long discussed moving the police downtown, but recently had to accelerate the discussion.

The nearly 70-year-old concrete block structure on Burgoyne Avenue has developed a large crack from the foundation up the center of the back wall.

The ground around the building is shifting, Ti trustee Steve Whitford said. He expressed fear a portion of the building could collapse.

Putting money into the building is a waste, Whitford said.

"I don't want to sink a lot of money into a dead horse," he said. "We need to look to the future."

The future apparently includes the Rite Aid building.

Taylor said the police commission investigated other possibilities and found them lacking. The Armory was excluded for police use since it houses youth activities and police don't want children and criminals in the same building. The downstairs of the Community Building was excluded because of lack of space and parking.

The former Rite Aid building has a market value of $686,000, which makes it too expensive for the town to purchase, Taylor said.

Comm Net Lease Realty, the Florida-based company that owns the building, is willing to lease it to the town for $3 a square foot, Taylor said. The building has 7,800 square feet.

"We're negotiating for less," Taylor said. "We'll continue to work at it. We need to make a decision soon."

The Ti PD only needs about 3,900 square feet of space, Taylor said. So if the former Rite Aid building is leased to the town there will be room for another agency.

Taylor and other Ti trustees agreed moving the police department downtown will have benefits beyond the building itself. They feel it can help revitalize Montcalm Street.

"I feel to give downtown a fighting chance this is something we need to do," Taylor said. "Looking to the future, I think this would be wise."

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