An about-face for several members of the Rochester City Council, as they announced legislation to repeal a recently passed plan to fund a new police substation and new neighborhood center in Downtown Rochester.
This comes in the wake of the death of Daniel Prude in police custody.
Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott and Councilmembers Mitch Gruber and Mary Lupien have introduced legislation that would repeal earlier legislation that approved the $12.5 million Rochester Police Department Goodman Section and Southeast Neighborhood Service Center. That repeal will be voted on next week and would put an immediate hold on the project.
The original legislation was passed at an August 18 council meeting.
Gruber originally voted yes on funding a new, multimillion-dollar police substation on East Main and Laura in the Beechwood neighborhood.
He liked the idea of police having section offices, fronted by neighborhood services, but decided now to pull the brakes before the project received any funding.
"On August 18, we voted on this and there was an understanding of what had truly happened with the tragic case of Daniel Prude and his life being taken while he was in police custody and that breach of trust has lead me to believe that we need to push pause on this project especially now we don't even leadership in the Rochester Police Department," said Gruber.
Walter lives a street over from the proposed project site.
He believes it would be helpful to have the police substation nearby.
"I think it would be perfect for the police to do that because the road here is so dangerous for the kids to play in because the cars go down here so fast, some of the cars go down here so fast, and I'm afraid the kids are going to hit so it would be perfect place to put a police station there. If they don't want to build a police station, build a park for the kids to play in," he said.
Kyle Crandle of the Beechwood Neighborhood Association also issued a statement about the council's decision.
"There has been much public input on this project and we expect the city and council to work with our community to construct a municipal building that will benefit our residents," said Crandle.
Gruber wanted the public to know the city is still committed to developing the spot.
However, money for the project can't just be diverted, because it's funded by bonds.
"We can't borrow the money for operating expenses," Gruber said. "We can borrow money for funding, public works, the structure because if we repeal this legislation that doesn't mean the money can repurposed elsewhere means that we don't actually borrow the money"
The vote to repeal the substation legislation will be on Tuesday.