Lanesborough Selectmen OK $65K for Temporary Police Station
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen has approved $65,000 to fund a two-year lease for a temporary police building as the Police Station Building Committee continues discussing its concerns with the site of the proposed new station.
Committee Chair Kristen Tool spoke before the Selectmen on Monday to share the proposed plan for leasing 545 South Main St. after exploring multiple options for a temporary station. The American Rescue Plan Act Fund Committee approved the use of its money for the lease last week.
Tool said minimal work, such as replacing a few doors and some carpeting, is needed for the building to be ready for officers. She said this temporary site, which the Police Department will stay in until construction of the new station is finished, saves the town over $115,000 compared to renting a trailer.
"The property owner has just been really delightful to work with," she said. "He's very excited about the idea of the station being there, the temporary location ... . This is definitely the the best possible option that the committee came across."
The committee also met on Tuesday to continue discussing the deficiencies of the 8 Prospect St. site. Former Police Chief Timothy Sorrell sought out the original 1934 deed after a discussion in a previous meeting and said a deed restriction stipulates the town use the parcel as a public park.
Tool suggested someone check with town counsel to determine the possible options for the site. Sorrell and other committee members said this likely has never come up before because the town has not made any significant alterations to the site since 1934.
"The building, at one point, has been everything," he said. "It was a meeting hall, as far as I know, then it slowly became different things ... And you can't say the town hasn't been maintaining it as a park, because it's got grass, we grow trees there, flowers on the stumps out front. We've been maintaining it."
Tool also provided the committee a list of considerations compiled from past discussions, including the parcel's small size, potential zoning issues with a new building, the in-ground gas pumps, parking and needed soil testing. The viability of the property has an ongoing debate for the committee during several meetings, including one with Brian Humes of Jacumsci & Humes Architects.
Selectman Gordon Hubbard was in attendance on Tuesday and said he was beginning to understand why the committee has issues with 8 Prospect St. as the new station site. He said the restriction with the deed could cause the town significant problems.
"If we can't do this, then trying to figure why we shouldn't do it is a moot point. These are the reasons why we maybe shouldn't do it. But if the deed says you can't do it, then who cares?" he said. "The other point is, you could spend a billion dollars and take care of all these things. But is it monetarily appropriate?"
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