Public Forums to be Held in Orleans for New Police Station

Orleans_PoliceORLEANS – Public forums will be held this week in Orleans to discuss the progress of the police station building committee.

The first forum will be held Thursday at the Council on Aging at 3:30 p.m.

Orleans Selectman John Hodgson said the current police station has several problems despite looking okay from the outside.

“The inside is pretty antiquated,” Hodgson said. “[There are] a lot of problems inside with electric and mold, the whole nine yards.”

Hodgson said renovation ideas have been taken off the table, but costs will determine the future of the police facility.

“The police department is in rough shape,” he said. “We need to make some changes but at the end of the day the dollars are going to be the deciding factor as to which way this goes.”

A second public forum will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at town hall.

Hodgson said the building committee is scaling down a previous proposal for a new police station that failed when it went before voters.

“They came up with this big design that was put forward and it failed,” he said. “A lot of folks from the same committee are on this and so they are aware of the reason why it failed and what’s happened in other towns and they are trying to scale it so it fits the character of the town and isn’t some monstrosity.”

Hodgson said he is keeping his fingers crossed that the committee can get the project approved at a reasonable cost.

He said, the police station is not the only building that is in bad shape in Orleans.

“What’s in worse shape is our DPW building,” Hodgson said. “[It’s] been neglected. [It’s] been falling down. [It’s] a disaster.”

Hodgson said these projects have to be done quickly, but there are also people pushing for spending on wastewater, water quality issue and sewering.

“Now you are talking about a $150 to $200 million project again,” he said.


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