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About a third of the just under 7,500 square feet design is dedicated to the police department, while around 1,600 square feet would be for ambulance service and 1,300 square feet shared space.

New Designs for Lanesborough Police/Ambulance Building Reviewed

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Police Station Committee reviewed a new design proposal for the combined police and ambulance facility, with hopes that residents can vote on the project at the special town meeting in January. 

 

Architect Brian Humes of Jackumsci & Humes created the new design to support police and ambulance services in the same space. Along with the design, Humes created a needs assessment for the building, which details the space and other needs for the building. 

 

"I'm really excited about the layout of it, and especially the shared spaces. I think it will make it easier to sell to the community," said committee Chair Kristen Tool at Tuesday meeting. A cost assessment for the building, she said, should come from Humes soon.

 

About a third of the just under 7,500 square feet design is dedicated to the Police Department, while around 1,600 square feet would be for ambulance services and more than 1,300 square feet consists of shared space between the two departments in an effort to reduce costs. This space includes a shared kitchen, copy room, training room, custodial and mechanical rooms, as well as a shared public space.  

 

The committee members had a significant discussion about the square footage, parking and other possibilities to keep costs down for the project. Tool reiterated that the group will have to do major work finding grant and other funding sources for the project to keep costs low for taxpayers.

 

"It's a big conversation. It's going to be a big cost," she said. "... It's our responsibility to compile the information to the best of our ability and present it to the taxpayers to a decision. And each of us gets our vote, just like every other taxpayer who shows up at that special meeting." 

 

Police Chief Robert Derksen said Lanesborough is not the only community in the Berkshires working on a public safety building project, referencing projects in Lee and Williamstown. 

 

"We're gonna do it and save everywhere we possibly can," he said. "And the bottom line is, if the residents don't approve it, they don't approve it. 

 

Several committee members recognized Humes and thanked him for the work he has done with the town and the committee over the lifetime of this project. Humes and his architectural firm have created all three proposed designs for a new station so far.

 

"As fiscally responsible as we have been, he has also been," said Emergency Management Services Director Jennifer Weber. "He really has taken a lot of that stuff into consideration." 

 

The committee is still waiting on a final parcel for the property in addition to a $150,000 gift from the Baker Hill Road District, which requires a taxpayer vote to accept. Tool said the special town meeting for the project will likely include separate warrant articles for the gift, the property and the project itself.


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Owner of Abandoned Cats Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman accused of abandoning more than a dozen cats during snowstorm a year ago has pleaded guilty. 
 
Kelly Hathaway of Pittsfield pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of animal cruelty in Central Berkshire District Court as part of a plea agreement. Following the plea agreement, she was ordered to have a mental health evaluation and follow any after care as instructed by the court.
 
She was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. She is not allowed to possess any animals and was ordered to surrender any she has in her care. She is also prohibited from volunteering with any animal groups.
 
Hathaway and another defendant were charged last March with abandoning 15 cats on back roads in Richmond and Lanesborough after an investigation by Lanesborough Police, Lanesborough Animal Control and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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