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Center Harbor will continue police station effort

September 01, 2010
CENTER HARBOR — Town officials will "stay the course" for the proposed police station project, despite strong opposition voiced at a recent informational meeting.

On Aug. 19, the Board of Selectmen with Police Chief Mark Chase and members of the Building Committee held an informational meeting at Morrill Park, the proposed location of a police station project. The footprint of the station was marked out with orange tape and town officials said the proposed station would only take a portion of the property.

Most people who spoke at the meeting, however, protested the project for its price, planned location, and other factors.

On Wednesday, Chase told the board the presentation was supposed to show people the actual footprint of the building and the planned boundaries for the station and the park. Chase said he felt that effort failed and the meeting was dominated by opponents of the station.

Board Chair Richard Drenkhahn said several people did come up after the meeting and were showed around the boundaries.

"I think the ones who had made up their minds, they weren't really looking at the layout," Drenkhahn said.

Chase said he felt inaccurate information was being spread about the project and he said he felt the town "failed to get out and explain to them this is it."

"Certainly the majority of the people who spoke had their minds made up," said Selectman Charley Hanson. "Some of the others, maybe they saw it."

Some of the meetings attendees suggested the town look into purchasing the Post Office property for the station. Drenhahn said the deed for the property is worth around $793,000.

"I don't think the town would be willing to swallow $800,000," Drenkhan said.

Selectman Randy Mattson also reiterated a comment made by resident David Johnson that if the station project was moved to another location, it would still meet strong resistance.

Hanson said the project would "stay the course."

"Do the best we can," Drenkhahn said.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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