Outreach Session in Sandwich to Focus on Plans for New Police, Fire Stations

COURTESY OF THE SANDWICH POLICE DEPARTMENT A rendering of the proposed police and fire facility at Quaker Meeting House Road and Cotuit Road.

COURTESY OF THE SANDWICH POLICE DEPARTMENT
A rendering of the proposed police and fire facility at Quaker Meeting House Road and Cotuit Road.

SANDWICH – A community outreach session on a proposal in Sandwich to build a new police and fire station will be held Thursday night at the Board of Selectmen meeting.

The plans call for a new police headquarters and new fire substation at Cotuit and Quaker Meeetinghouse Roads and a small addition on an existing fire substation in East Sandwich.

Assistant Town Manager Doug Lapp says the entire project team will be present at the meeting.

“We hope to do a complete overview of the project as well as answer any questions that the public or the board might have,” Lapp said.

The overview will include site plans, facility renderings and a more detailed cost estimate.

A $30 million proposal failed to receive a two-thirds majority vote at town meeting three years ago.

Lapp said the he current project has three major differences than the previous proposal.

“It’s significantly smaller than the previous project,” he said.

The project has been downsized from 71,000 total square feet to 23,000 total square feet.

“The cost of the project is significantly lower,” he said. “The previous project was $30 million. This project is $17 million.”

The failed proposal called for only two fire stations to be staffed and Lapp said residents were vocal about having a third fire and EMS station staffed, which are included in these plans.

Lapp said the current facilities are in rough shape and in difficult locations.

“They’re very old facilities. They were built back when the town only had a few thousand people and had very, very small departments,” he said. “Since that time the town has grown substantially, the staffing at the departments have grown substantially and most importantly the population center has shifted from downtown and Route 6A farther into South Sandwich.”

The new proposed fire station would not be a new headquarters.

“The input we received from the community was that they wanted to maintain that downtown presence and we had to get the cost down and the square footage down,” Lapp said. “So we are going to be using the current fire headquarters as essentially a downtown manned fire station.”

Lapp said, unfortunately, the proposal will not be a complete long term plan.

“What we are constructing at the corner of Quaker Meetinghouse and Cotuit Road for the fire department is sized to be a fire substation,” he said. “Once we get in there we will see how things go.”

Lapp said town officials do not want to keep going back to the voters with proposals and hopes this one will pass.

“I think we really firmly believe that this plan is exactly what the voters asked the board to come up with,” he said. “They wanted a plan B. They wanted something that was smaller, less costly and staff three stations in town.”

Lapp said officials are optimistic that the plan is reasonable, achievable and will improve public safety in town.

The meeting Thursday is at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and will also be on Sandwich community television.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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