$3.1 million public safety facility on Tuftonboro warrant


Public hearing on the proposal scheduled for Feb. 7


January 27, 2011
TUFTONBORO — Is a new fire and safety facility in Tuftonboro's future? Ideas and possibilities have been discussed since 2008, first by a committee of citizens forming the Public Safety Facilities Committee.

Its work culminated in a public forum on July 30, 2009, followed by the formation of the Fire and Police Facilities Committee, which moved ahead with the results of the citizens' survey in mind.

Minutes of the two-year progression to the selectmen's recent proposition at their Jan. 24 meeting to build a 14,000 square foot, $3.1 million, fire and safety facility on the town-owned Gould property show that numerous options were considered.

At this point, selectmen are ready to present a warrant article for voters' approval at the March 9 Town Meeting. Before their most recent meeting with the architect, they were considering building the infrastructure for both departments but postponing completion of the police department's section of the building. After getting the final numbers, they discovered that there was only a $400,000 difference between that plan and going ahead with the entire package.

Fire department head Adam Thompson says that the new additional space will allow his staff and volunteers to work on the apparatus after coming back from a call inside rather than outside; showers will enable them to decontaminate at the station; and they will be able to hold their EMT training classes onsite.

Aside from those safety and convenience features, Thompson says that the location of the building will reduce response time. Most residents will be within five miles of one of the three stations: the Mirror Lake and Melvin Village stations will remain open.

He says he gets calls from insurance companies on a daily basis asking for the location of the current stations. Some residents at a distance are denied coverage, while others have to pay higher premiums because of higher response times.

Selectmen Chair Carolyn Sundquist reported at the most recent meeting that she has contacted the Meredith Village Savings Bank and planned to have specific figure available for the budget committee meeting of Jan. 25. A letter of credit on which interest will be paid only on what is expended as the project progresses is under consideration. The bank's offer will extend no longer than15 years.

A public hearing on the financing is scheduled for Feb.7, at 6 p.m. at the Town House.

A full color rendering of the proposed facility may be viewed at the town offices building.

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