Town Meeting to Vote on New Fire Station
Each week we'll take a look at one article on the Town Meeting warrant a little more closely.
Welcome to Town Meeting Article of Week, where we take a look at one article per week leading up to Town Meeting. We'll give you some background on the issue at hand.
Article 10: To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds and/or borrow...a certain sum of money to fund the design and construction of a new town center Fire Station headquarters facility adjacent to the town offices on a portion of the 8.69 acre parcel of town-owned land at 50 Billerica Road...including related survey, legal and other costs incidental and related thereto; or act in relation thereto.
This article requires a 2/3 vote of Town Meeting Reps to pass.
The presentation: The Permanent Building Committee's newest fire station proposal involves building the facility on the land adjacent to the town offices at 50 Billerica Road. Though the article does not include a set price, town officials have said they are aiming to stay within $7.5 million. Town Manager Paul Cohen has said the station can be funded within the town's tax levy. Selectmen included a non-binding question on the April 3 town election ballot to gauge the feeling of the town on the issue.
Recent history: Last spring, voters decided against a debt exclusion for a $9 million fire station on Wilson Street and Chelmsford Street. Last year, Patch did a video looking at the inside of the fire station. Last spring, selectmen also held a public input session during which the fire station and possible locations were discussed. After last year's proposal was voted down, officials went back to the drawing board. At last month's public input session held by the Board of Selectmen, residents brought up questions about the new fire station.
A longtime issue: Documents from even further back, including 2007's fire station study and various other fire station presentations, can be found on the town's website by clicking "search e-documents" at the top and clicking on "Fire_DPW Facilities Study Committee."
Town Meeting is April 30, 2011 at the Senior Center.