BOURNE – More than 600 voters turned out for a special town meeting at Bourne High School Monday night, and in the process moved two major projects to build a new police station and to rebuild Peebles Elementary School one step closer to final approval.
In a vote of 617-4, voters overwhelmingly approved Article 5 to build a new police station.
The current facility, built in 1958, has a myriad of problems including asbestos, electrical inefficiencies and other hazards, and is no longer cost-effective to maintain.
“We really wish we weren’t in this position,” said Bourne Police Chief Dennis Woodside. “But we’re stuck there and if this project doesn’t even go forward in the ballot in December, it’s going to come back because we have no other options anymore.”
The proposed facility would be built in a new location adjacent to the Route 6/28 bypass at the end of Armory Road and would cost $17 million to build.
Article 1, building a new Peebles Elementary School passed by a landslide margin of 595-13.
As with the current police facility, the Peebles School, built in 1953, is also showing signs of disrepair and the $39 million project is the culmination of a two-year collaboration between Bourne and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
The MSBA will provide 36 percent, or $15 million, of the cost of construction, leaving taxpayers responsible for the remaining $24 million.
More than 100 schools apply for MSBA funding each year, with about 10 receiving funding, a reason that proponents of the projects say the time to act is now.
“If we were to say no now, it’d be another 7-10 years before we’d be ready to make this commitment again to the students of Bourne,” Bourne School Committee Chairman Charles Hydlburg said.
If both projects receive final approval at the ballot box on December 6, the average real estate tax bill in Bourne would increase by about $283 per year.
By MIKE DEFINA, CapeCod.com NewsCenter