Bow selectmen seek options after voters reject proposals to repair police, fire stations
On March 24, during the second half of the annual Town Meeting, voters rejected two proposals — a $4.6 million plan to renovate the existing fire station and community center and $1.7 million proposal to renovate the existing police station — by 483-6 and 484-8 votes, respectively. If approved, the warrants would have allowed the town to bring the buildings up to code.
Selectmen have begun the discussion of where to head next, said Town Manager David Stack. The board is scheduled to discuss the matter at its next meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday April 8, at the Bow Municipal Building Meeting Room A.
The town has until September 2016 to bring the fire station up to code, per an order from the state fire marshal. According to the fire marshal’s report last year, the major issues are crumbling asbestos walls, a consistently damp basement with standing water, vintage electrical wiring, no private area to meet with patients, pedestrian and vehicle traffic dangers, inadequate storage and office space, interior and exterior building decay and the lack of equipment decontamination areas. The garage overhead clearance is limited for fire engines.
The police station also contains the town’s Department of Public Works and must also be brought up to building, fire and safety codes and into compliance with the American Disability Act, said Stack. The facility was built in the 1980s as a public works building.
However, voters approved spending $190,000 for a new Public Works Department loader and allocating $150,000 to the library’s capital reserve fund and $65,000 to the fire truck capital reserve fund.
Selectmen trimmed this year’s proposal in the hopes of gaining community support.