Planning Commission Approves BPU Substation

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ new substation planned to be located along Isabella Avenue near Clinton Street has been approved by the city’s Planning Commission.

Martha Zenns, Planning Commission chairwoman, said the project’s site plan was approved during the group’s regular monthly meeting last week.

“It is going to take the place of two other substations, one near Jones and Gifford Avenue and the other is on Second Street,” she said.

William Rice, city principal planner, said before the project can start construction, BPU officials still need to have landscaping and drainage plans approved.

In April, the BPU board approved the new substation project. In May, the City Council approved the project by transferring land to the BPU for construction of the new substation. The parcels of land for the new substation were designated for use by the Public Works Department.

“The property was landbanked 20-plus years ago for a DPW building that never came to fruition,” Jeff Lehman, public works director, said in May. “That property has been used as a snow dump in the past, so this is obviously a better use for it. This will also allow us to remove two stations – one near McCrea Point and one at Second and Washington streets – which will free up some property for other uses.”

The McCrea Point substation is located on Jones and Gifford Avenue near the park, a popular fishing destination during the summer months. Once the new substation is erected, the land can be reclaimed for the park.

“By building a new substation, it will increase the reliability of the service,” Greg Rabb, City Council president and D-At Large, said in May. “Putting it (on Isabella Street) makes better use of the land, too. It will open up the land on Jones and Gifford Avenue so that it can all be park land, and that property on Washington Street by the train station could become a valuable development site. There’s nothing but positives to go all the way around – better electric service, a nicer park and a potential development site in the west end where we’ve been doing all of this work.”