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Freedom voters to be asked to build public safety building


February 10, 2011
FREEDOM — Is this the year voters will approve the construction of a new public safety building in Freedom?

Committee work continued throughout 2010 after voters turned down the idea last year at town meeting. Officials here are hoping that the revised plan and its price tag of up to $1,200,000 will be the plan that gets voter go-ahead at the March 8 town meeting.

The plan includes not constructing a brand new building but putting on additions to the current fire station to accommodate the fire and police departments while leaving plenty of room for the future. Last year's plan, according to selectmen, was to build for the future. After voter input they've revised their plan to build for now but think about the future.

Article 8 on the warrant is a bond issue that will be voted on by a separate ballot. It asks voters to enter into up to $1,070,000 in bonds and notes and allow selectmen to withdraw $130,000 from the previously established New Municipal Building and Land Capital Reserve Fund and to give permission to selectmen to seek grants or other aid that might help offset the cost.

Additionally, Article 10 asks voters to spend $35,000 to purchase about .08 acres adjacent to the fire station for the construction project.

In other budget items, the proposed operating budget is down about $100,000 to $2,013,098.

In the warrant articles, selectmen are asking for money to spruce up some town buildings including rebuilding the front portion of the Village Mill Pond Fire Station, repainting town hall or paint the front and vinyl side the other sides, and install a fire alarms system at the town office building

In road work, the board is asking for $104,000 for paving, crack sealing and sealing work on paved roads.

If the installation of a cell phone tower in the village is approved by the town's planning and zoning boards, selectmen want to spend $6,000 for the installation of a radio repeater on the tower to enhance the town's emergency communications.

The fire department needs to replace some equipment and is asking for $4,650 to buy some new fire hose and $15,000 for 10 sets of new turnout gear.

Rounding out the warrant is $62,500 to be put in reserve funds for future police, fire, highway department, library and transfer station needs.

The Freedom Historical Society has presented a petition that is supported by selectmen to raise $10,000 to address fire, public safety and handicap accessibility needs at the Allard House.

A budget hearing was held here this week but results were not available as of press time. The proposed budget, including any changes made as a result of the hearing will be voted on March 8 by Town Meeting voters.

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