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Police/DPW Property Chosen for New Fire Station

A location for a new fire station as part of a new public safety building has been chosen according to a presentation from Fire Chief James Wright, DPW Director Eric Hooper, and Police Chief Joseph Bernstein.

After the Public Safety Feasibility Study Committee looked at the benefits of doing separate building for police and fire or doing a public safety building and narrowing the possible locations down to two, Wright told the Sharon selectmen this week that the current police station/DPW property was chosen over a property near the baseball and softball fields on East Foxboro Street.

“What it came down to is the municipal uses. At the baseball site some of the police activities might be considered incompatible with the kids already there,” Hooper said.

Fire trucks exiting on to the street and on to South Main Street was also deemed a potential issue for a new fire station at East Foxboro Street.

“The main issue of location down in the ball area was the impact of the fire department and what was safest for access for their trucks. The safest is the area at the police department,” Bernstein said.

Selectmen chairman Joe Roach supported the decision to choose the police station/DPW property as the location in order to avoid having to move recreation areas currently in use.

“I'm 99 percent sure I would have voted for the DPW/Police site because we would have had to relocate two ball fields and buy a house and if we did that we would have to relocate those fields to the Sharon community gardens. Not that we couldn't find a place for (the gardens) to go but why disrupt if we don't have to?” Roach said.

Construction is expected to have some impact on the DPW operation but little on the police department. The public safety project is expected to have two buildings - one for fire vehicles and living quarters and a second building for both department’s administrative offices and the police department. The police department will move into the new building first when their part is completed while the fire department will stay at their location until their new building is built.

Wright said the next step is to get a more definitive cost estimate and schematics for the proposed buildings.

Kurt Buermann January 25, 2014 at 08:27 AM
While I think the DPW area is the best choice best for a new public safety building, there remains the question: Why do we need a new public safety building in the first place?
John January 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM
Kurt, I could not agree more. This thing feels like it is being rammed down our throats. The only time I hear or see a sniff of this, is when the Patch reports on it. Our taxes are nearly (if not the highest) in the state. My capacity to pay is not there, and I will not, can not support a new facility. Do the Math..... $400 (or more) per square foot to construct x (my guess) 60k gsf, or a $24M building plus an appropriate contingency and we are $25m. We really have 25M laying around in this town. And what happens when the Ponzi scheme known as the public employee pension system comes calling for its needed funds? You have to stop spending at some point and unfortunately for Police and Fire we CAN NOT afford a new facility

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