JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A group of mental health workers went to Jamestown lawmakers vying for help with a downtown parking garage, which faces vandalism and disrepair.
Half a dozen workers for the Jamestown Department of Mental Hygiene asked what could be done to help improve safety for the multi floor Spring Street parking garage.
“We have absolutely seen the ramp decline in cleanliness, the smell of the ramp, the various people that are in the ramp, more cars overnight that you don’t know what’s happening in those vehicles,” stated an employee of the Jamestown Mental Hygiene location, Carol Wright. “If you arrive early morning the ramp is nearly vacant, and so you’re the only person walking around.”
Now, one is facing up to three thousands of dollars worth of damages.
“I still park there every single day for work,” explained Sarah Zinni, an employee at the Jamestown Mental Hygiene location. “Which creates a lot of anxiety for me, it’s uncomfortable. Even when I go in and park at 8/10 a.m. in the morning, it’s still dark even with the sun out because in the middle of the garage it’s still very dark, and it is has just been completely off-putting. It has put so many things on the back burner, I have to pay out of pocket for so many things and I don’t think anybody deserves to do that.”
Police Chief Tim Jackson responded by saying JPD met with city leaders in November 2022 to try to increase safety for the parking garage.
“On the police side, we said we’re going to do nightly checks as much as possible and daily, patrolling the ramps, which we’ve done,” stated Chief Jackson. “And we continually kick people out of the ramp. They’re sleeping in there, they’re shooting up in there, they’re defecating in the ramp. We cannot hold these people accountable because the signs I recommended on November 21 have still not been purchased. So the police department has held up its side of the bargain.”
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist responded to the outcries by saying that signage has already been ordered; he also showed the council pricing quotes for cameras and lighting.
“We did have that meeting in November, we did not receive the final quotes until about two weeks ago,“ explained Mayor Sundquist. “We had at least three agencies looking at both ramps for lighting as well as cameras. We did receive all of those quotes, I’m giving you guys a package of those quotes now, the lowest bid for both lighting and cameras for both of the ramps is $246,498.51 dollars.
Authorities believe that minors are to blame, a disheartening fact to some on the council.
“The comment was made that this has gotten worse in the past year and a half or so, it’s really kind of frustrating and really disheartening to think that we have to spend taxpayer money to prevent behaviors that are unacceptable,” stated Council President Tony Dolce.
Council members will now be able to look over the quoted prices and decide where to get the funds from, whether it’s from a bond, contingency, or the city’s remaining ARPA monies.