EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 13, 2013

Sandown voters reject police station plan

SANDOWN — Voters yesterday rejected a proposal to spend $945,000 for a new police station, 403-333.

In 2008, the town fell three votes short of building a new police station through a bond. While it needed two-thirds approval in 2008, this year’s article only needed a majority vote, due to the money coming from a capital reserve fund.

An alternative option to add $200,000 to a capital reserve fund for a station was approved, 413-319. The town has added $176,000 to the fund each of the last three years. It has a balance of $540,500 now. It would take another such deposit next year before construction could begin.

Police Chief Joseph Gordon said the longer the town waits to build a new station, the more expensive it will be.

The town has 3,671 registered voters.

Voters approved the $3.4 million operating budget, 454-274.

Voters rejected, 450-285, establishing a capital reserve fund for a revaluation. They also nixed spending $5,500 for the library lawn and irrigation system, 557-193. They narrowly approved spending $4,900 for a walkout egress at the library, 377-372.

Residents also defeated a proposal to amend the house numbering ordinance, 439-307. The town won’t spend $3,500 for an energy efficiency project at the historic train depot, rejecting the plan 453-292. Other monetary requests were approved.

Interim treasurer Bruce Cleveland faced two challengers, James Devine and Erica Olsen, for a two-year term. Cleveland and Olsen each received 232 votes. Devine was a close third with 209.

Cleveland, who heads the Budget Committee, was appointed interim treasurer in January as a replacement for Marie Buckley.

Devine is well known in town, serving as a state representative, selectman and School Board member. There were no other contested races.

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