No money for new station house

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It’s old, ill−placed and rumors are rife that the building is haunted, but cops in the 70th Precinct better not hold their collective breath waiting for a new place to hang their hats.

Inspector Anthony Tria, of the NYPD real estate division, told the Community Board 14 Public Safety Committee that due to budget constraints, there is no money for a new station house until 2013.

Although frustrating, the news was taken in stride by the community board, who remain hopeful the city will buy the property at 1326 Ocean Avenue and Avenue H.

“We just have to try to regroup and see where we have to apply ourselves so we can move it forward,” said CB 14 Public Safety Committee Co−Chair Joe Dweck.

Gary Schultze, the other co−chair of the committee, said what makes the matter even more important is that the precinct’s location at 154 Lawrence Avenue remains on the western edge of its jurisdiction, which includes a large part of Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park.

“The precinct is now across the street from the United Cerebral Palsy Center where there are buses dropping off and picking up people constantly,” said Schultze. “It’s a one−way street that’s congested and the precinct itself is almost 100 years old. It’s a frontier precinct in a modern world.”

CB 14 District Manager Doris Ortiz said the community has been lobbying for the city to purchase the new site since 1983.

The city nearly purchased the property in the 1990s but it fell through the cracks, she said.

Ortiz said CB 14 plans to now lobby City Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene and Kendall Stewart to at least have the city come up with money to purchase the site.

“We feel that once the site is acquired, that’s step one and the city owns it,” she said, adding then the city can then wait a few years to build a new precinct house.

Dep. Inspector Ralph Monteforte, commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, said he works with what he has, but allowed that a new precinct house in a more central location would be helpful.

However, Monteforte downplayed rumors that the station house is haunted stemming from when the building’s architect reportedly hanged himself shortly after the precinct was dedicated.

“I’ve been in there since 1993 and we don’t believe in that stuff,” he said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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