Sandwich Selectmen to Seek Approval for 3 Capital Projects


SANDWICH – Plans for a new senior center in Sandwich will go before special town meeting voters in the fall.

Sandwich selectmen recently voted to seek approval for the new building, along with renovations to the library and re-purposing the human services building for school administrative offices.

“The board voted last week to support holding a special town meeting before Thanksgiving this coming October or November to address those three needs and to give the public the right to chime in on how they feel about addressing those three long-term capital needs,” said Bud Dunham, the Sandwich town manager.

Selectmen also approved a financing plan for the three projects that would borrow $15 million or more without requiring a debt exclusion.

Dunham said town officials are working to give selectmen the best information to analyze what the expenses for the projects would be compared to expected revenues.

A main goal is to work with all the groups this summer to figure out what will be included in the projects and their estimated costs.

“The library contingency and the Council on Aging Board of Directors have done a lot of work throughout the years so I think they have a good conceptual handle on what is needed a rough cost,” Dunham said.

Dunham said based on previous work those answers should be available relatively quickly.

“Then we will hopefully get a professional cost estimating firm to give us a number we can hang our hat on a little bit better looking at those costs,” he said.

A town meeting warrant article this spring will ask voters to authorize the purchase of the former Santander Bank building on Route 6A at Tupper Road to consolidate town offices.

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.

A citizens’ petition was also filed and will appear on the town meeting warrant to purchase the bank to be used as a senior center.

Dunham said he has met with senior representatives last week to discuss the plan for a new Council on Aging.

“I think they recognize that in the long run a new building at a proper location that could be structured the right way would make more sense than retrofitting the former bank building,” Dunham said.

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