The town's insurance company has threatened to close down the Police Station, according to Town Manager Kelli Robbins.
Robbins told the Selectmen on Monday that an insurance representative toured multiple town buildings and was "very upset" with the conditions at the station. The insurance company apparently told Robbins that the building is now being placed into a "high risk" category, which will increase the cost to insure it. The state's Division of Labor standards has also been notified o
Greg Devlin of the owner's project manager, Architectural Consulting Group, appeared before the board to give members an update on the renovation and expansion of the former Turner House on Simonds Road.
The town voted to fund the renovation of the Police Station but will also consider a feasibility study for a new station in the future.
At a special town meeting Tuesday, voters approved transferring $13,00 from other accounts to pay for the renovations Selectmen Robert Ericson has undertaken. But, that wasn't without a push to use those funds instead for a feasibility study for a new station.
A special town meeting will ask voters for approval to fund renovations to the police station, restore the cupola on town hall, and switch the regular town meeting to Saturday, among other topics.
The special town meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23 at 6 p.m. to vote on 10 articles. Three of the articles asks to move money around for the police station renovation, a project already done but is missing a source of funds.
The private water district was taken over last year by the town because of the cooperative's difficulty in finding trustees and addressing the significant infrastructure upgrades required for the more than 30-year-old district.
Selectman Robert Ericson has missed the deadline given to him to complete the third phase of renovations at the police station.
The retired engineer took on the project after touring it in 2014. He is part of the town's energy committee and has headed efforts with the Green Community Act. In late 2014 the town decided to install a new boiler system for the poorly heated 1800's building.
Several residents, however, had questions and concerns about the new police station on Simonds Road, and town meeting voters heard from both the town manager and the chief of police before authorizing the $5 million bond by a voice vote. This vote also wasn't unanimous.
More than a century ago, volunteers built the Police Station.
Over time volunteers stepped up to renovate it. Now, Selectmen Robert Ericson has been working toward doing that again, especially in the face of the officer's union issuing multiple formal complaints about the building.
The town's police officers want an improved working environment.
The police officer's union, Lanesborough Police Officers Association MassCop, Local 390, wrote to the Board of Selectmen saying the station is "unsafe and unprofessional."
State Sen. Adam Hinds is asking the state to help in designing a new city police station.
A capital bond bill is currently making its way through the Legislative process and Hinds has filed an amendment for $4 million to design the new station. The city has been eying a police station for years- including hiring a consultant to perform a feasibility study was conducted to identify possible locations and craft a conceptual outline of what the building would require.
Voters OK’d the $300,000 acquisition of .42 acres on Simonds Road (U.S. Route 7), including the building that used to be the Turner House for veterans.
When the non-profit Turner House announced its plan to suspend operations, the town in October 2016 the site as a potential site to replace the crowded and inadequate home for the Williamstown Police Department at Town Hall.
The Finance Committee voted unanimously to support the plan of local school officials to expand the Mount Greylock Regional School District and the proposed purchase of a Simonds Road property for a new police station — questions likely to be posed to the town at a special town meeting on Nov. 14.
The town took its first steps toward moving its police station and a non-profit recreation center received a season alcohol licence.
In the case of the town, it is a planned renovation and addition to the Turner House veterans home on Simonds Road, which the board agreed on Monday to sign an option to purchase for up to $300,000.