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March 25, 2014

Sandown police preparing for new station

Sandown police will get a new station

SANDOWN — For years, town officials have been pleading with voters to fund a new police station. At the end of this year, that will finally become a reality.

At Town Meeting this month, residents voted to purchase a former funeral home on Main Street and convert it into a new police station.

The project will cost nearly $900,000, but about $745,000 will come from a capital reserve. Another $125,000 will be raised from taxes.

“We hope to take control of the building on April 15,” police Chief Joseph Gordon said yesterday. “After that, we will need to do some deconstruction.”

Gordon said he hoped the station would be ready for use by fall.

“I’m thinking October, November, sometime in that area,” he said. “

The town signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for about $400,000 for the former Peabody Funeral Home property at 460 Main St. in January. The agreement was contingent on voter approval at Town Meeting. It was approved, 801-287.

After the funeral home closed in 2007, the building was converted into apartments. Gordon said there are seven units in the building, but he isn’t sure how many are still occupied.

“(The owner) is in the process of moving them out now,” Gordon said. “If there’s a problem with that, there may be some sort of extension.”

Once the town does take control of the building, there will be some major renovations.

“There’s going to be a brand new exterior, a brand new roof,” Gordon said. “There will be new bathrooms, new plumbing, new heating.”

The renovations will cost just more than $400,000.

“It’s close to an even split between what we bought the building for and what we will be paying to renovate it,” he said.

The proposal passed after several previous projects presented to voters failed in recent years. The department has sought a new station because of the lack of space. Officers have had to detain people by handcuffing them to a pole in a back room.

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