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January 17, 2014

Plaistow may fund $25,000 police station study

Police chief says complex outdated, overcrowded

PLAISTOW — From the outside, there looks to be nothing wrong with the Plaistow Public Safety Complex.

“People drive by and tell me that it looks great,” Plaistow police Chief Stephen Savage said.

But the inside tells a different story.

“It’s just not adequate anymore,” Savage said. “Our needs have severely outgrown it.”

Now, the road is starting to be paved for an expanded facility. Savage has asked selectmen for $25,000 to complete a preliminary engineering phase for a new police complex. The money will come from the town’s public safety impact fees. No money will have to be raised by the taxpayers. The study also includes a cost estimate for a new facility.

A warrant article to fund the study last year failed by just 12 votes. In 2010, voters rejected a similar study with a $25,000 price tag.

Selectmen’s Chairman Robert Gray said he was in favor of using this money toward the study.

Selectmen are in the midst of a hearing process on the study and should make a decision within a few weeks.

“We need to have a study we can present to townspeople, so they have something tangible and are able to make an informed decision,” he said. “Right now, we have a situation where you walk through and there isn’t one room which is adequate for the laws which are on the books today.”

The study would determine the best location for the facility. Currently, the police and fire departments share the same building, which was built in 1985. But there is the possibility of a new police building, with the fire department taking over the current building.

One possibility for the site of a new police facility is land behind the current complex. The town acquired 3.5 acres of land last year with the intention of building a new police complex.

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