Dartmouth Town Meeting Approves Police Station Renovation
The Dartmouth Police Department is closer to having a building to work out of after Tuesday's Town Meeting vote.
Most Town Meeting members voted to approve a police station renovation project for an April town vote, however not everyone left happy.
Both plans for a new building at a different site and plans to renovate the current station were presented in the Dartmouth High School auditorium, where the Town Meeting took place.
Some people argued that despite the $14 million price tag on a new police station, the new start in a more central location in town would be worth it down the road.
Concerns over the flood zones in the current site were also raised. However, the project architect says steps would be taken to the building to minimize flooding in case of a severe hurricane.
Officials say despite being located in South Dartmouth, away from most police activity, renovating the existing building and improving it gives the town the best bang for it's buck at $8.4 million.
Town Meeting member, Joel Avila, says the renovation project is the smart choice.
"It seems like the two options that were presented, the $8 million and the $14 million option, that Town Meeting took the right approach by voting for the more economical and cost effective proposal," Avila said.
Officials estimate that the project will add an initial $40 per year to residents' taxes, but over the 20-year bond, that number would decrease.
Town Administrator, David Cressman estimated that taxpayers would be paying closer to $70 per year if a new station was built.
As for the controversial design of the renovation, new options for the front facade have already been created.