Sandwich Officials Unveil Bank Building Plans

SANDWICH – Sandwich Town Manager Bud Dunham recently revealed plans to selectmen showing where various town departments would be housed if the purchase of a former bank building is approved by town meeting voters.

The proposal would place all offices with the most visitors, including the town clerk, tax collector, building inspections and permitting on the first floor, along with the town manager’s office and selectmen.

“Getting the right departments together not only helps in terms of oversight and efficiencies, but certainly helps the public in terms of trying to make a one-stop shopping experience for as many things as we could fit in one building,” said Dunham.

The nearly $4 million proposal to purchase and renovate the former Santander Bank on Route 6A at Tupper Road will be before voters at Town Meeting on May 6.

“If the three buildings and the employees in those buildings, i.e. Town Hall, Town Hall Annex and Jan Sebastian move there as well as IT, there would be 51 positions that would be moved into the building,” Dunham said.

Plans also call for the addition of 38 parking spaces at the property, along with improving the septic system.

The purchase cost of the property is $2.1 million and $1.85 million would be used for renovation and improvements.

Debate continues on whether or not the town should purchase the property for a new senior center.

The chair of the Council on Aging’s Board of Directors Neal O’Brien recently asked selectmen to reconsider its proposal and to purchase the bank building for a new Center for Active Living.

“We are looking to be practical and save the Sandwich taxpayers potentially several million dollars,” O’Brien said.

Data from the town’s 2017 census that indicates 47 percent of town residents will be over the age of 55 by 2025. That number is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2027.

O’Brien said the town’s senior population is totally underserved by the current senior center.

A citizens’ petition was also filed to purchase the bank to be used as a senior center.

Both proposals will be before town meeting voters in May.

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