Author: Rachel Barnhart
City Council authorized the $2.3 million purchase of property on Lake Ave. and Ridge Rd. to be used for a police substation. Only Councilwoman Jackie Ortiz voted no at Tuesday’s meeting.
Rochester for All raised questions about the appraisal and uncertain cleanup costs of the former Piehler Pontiac site. The three-acre property is assessed for $361,000. Kodak is selling land nearby for $100,000 to $140,000 an acre. Yet the city’s appraiser came in at $1.5 million, even with the contamination. The extra funds will be used to clean up the property, with the owner potentially sharing some of the costs.
Oritz questioned the difference between the appraisal and the assessment in council’s review of legislation. The Democrat and Chronicle noted that appraisals are, on average, 26 percent above assessed value, making the Lake Ave. appraisal an outlier.
The city told Ortiz that appraisals and assessments are different measurements, as an assessment is a mass valuation and an appraisal is a single measurement. The city also said it was difficult to find land suitable for a police station.
Rochester for All filed open records requests for the appraisals of the property, environmental cleanup estimates and the $150,000 study by Archictura PC of potential police substation locations.