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Hearing scheduled for proposed police station


October 21, 2009
CENTER HARBOR — Residents will be able to see and discuss plans for a new police station.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on the construction and location of a new police station. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Carrie Mead Room of the Center Harbor Municipal Building.

The police department is currently located in an office in the back of the fire department. Prisoners have to be transferred to the Belknap County Jail and other facilities and dispatch goes through the Belknap County Sheriff's Office.

Police Chief Mark Chase told the Board of Selectmen during its Wednesday meeting that the lack of space has created issues when talking to people about cases. The office has several case files around the room and Chase said others cannot come into the office because of it.

In these cases when someone arrives to speak to the police, he will meet them in a bay of the fire station or speak with them outside. Sensitive cases have had to be discussed at a certain hour in the town hall when there is space available and even then employees might still be around when emotional discussions occur.

Following the 2007 report by the town Space Needs Committee, a Building Committee was created to examine possibilities for buildings. Since 2008 the committee has been discussing options for a police station.

Plans for the police station are in the process of being made and town officials want to put the station to vote at the 2010 town meeting.

The building is proposed to be located on town property at the corner of Route 25B, or Plymouth Street, and Chase Circle adjacent to the Nichols Memorial Library and the Municipal Building.

Plans and drawings of the proposed building are available at the Municipal Building.

Chase said costs are still being discussed and a figure will be available at the Oct. 26 public hearing along with calculated tax impact.

Selectmen have also discussed putting together a cost analysis of expenses related to transporting prisoners to Laconia and having an officer out of town during that time along with other factors.

The hearing will be open for residents to discuss, provide input, and ask questions about the proposed police station.

Penny Pitou
Martin Lord Osman
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