NEW BEDFORD — On his weekly "Mid-Week with the Mayor" segment on WBSM, Mayor Jon Mitchell had some breaking news on the city's plan for the South End's new Public Safety Center.

Mayor Mitchell said the new building will be constructed on Brock Avenue at the location of the long-vacant St. Anne catholic Church.  The Mayor said that the city has recently completed the purchase of the property, which includes the church, the rectory and a parking lot.

According to a story published in the Standard Times in 2015, Dr. Ahmet F. Dirican purchased the church in 2007 from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Fall River. The doctor initially had plans for the building, but then indicated the property taxes and mortgage were too much of a financial burden, and placed the property for sale.

Mayor Mitchell told WBSM listeners on Wednesday that the new Public Safety Center would house the South End police station, and consolidate two of the city's fire stations.  Mitchell added that it will be the first new fire station constructed in New Bedford in 60 years.

As far as a target date for the construction and completion of the project, the Mayor said the initial design is being worked on. Once approved, the construction process can begin. He indicated that the project could be complete by the end of 2019.

Mayor Mitchell said that the Brock Avenue spot at the top of the peninsula is ideal for the new public safety center, as it will be in an area that needs to be stabilized.

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