BOURNE – Voters in Bourne will decide on a new police station Tuesday at town election and police officials are encouraging residents to head to the polls.
The $17 million proposal to replace the aging facility overwhelmingly passed at town meeting in October with a vote of 617-4.
“The message that we’ve just been trying to convey is that this station is a real need. It’s not a want,” said Dennis Woodside, the Bourne police chief. “We’ve outlived its usefulness a number of years ago.”
The current station was built in 1958 and has a myriad of problems, including electrical inefficiencies and asbestos issues.
Woodside said several more problems have occurred over the last few weeks, including a boiler replacement.
“We had to get an emergency appropriation Monday night to get that replaced. It’s like $10,000,” he said. “We were hoping to stretch that out for a couple years but we weren’t able to get there.”
The water line coming into the station is under an emergency repair which will begin shortly.
“It was another thing we didn’t want to do but it has to be repaired right away,” Woodside said.
Concrete is also collapsing on the ceiling of one of the garage bays. It is not supported by any steel and it needs to be braced up.
“Things like that just keep disintegrating right in front of us,” Woodside said. “And even though you try to keep up with maintenance this building is pretty old and it has been falling apart for a long time.”
Residents who would like to tour the facility can contact police to arrange a showing.
“We’ve given over a dozen tours here and we had a large response at the beginning and it has kind of faded off a little bit,” Woodside said.
Woodside said that he hasn’t heard anyone dispute the fact that a new station is a true need.
“A lot of people leave saying this is disgusting,” he said. “I think it just needs to get done.”
The proposed facility would be built in a new location adjacent to the Route 6/28 bypass at the end of Armory Road.
“It’s a good location. It’s outside the flood zone,” Woodside said.
Woodside said the original plans were scaled back as much as they could be.
“We want the new building to last for today and 50 years plus without any kind of an addition or renovation needed,” he said.
Woodside said if the new station does not pass at the ballot box the project would have to come back.
“I just fear that the cost for construction will go up and you never know what is going to happen with bond ratings,” he said. “So this is a good time for these projects to be considered.”
Bourne voters will also vote on a new school to replace the aging Peebles Elementary School.
By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter