EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 18, 2013

Ex-town manager: repair fire station, not replace

(Continued)

Ballardvale Fire Station Building Committee Chairman Dan Casper similarly declined to weigh in on Bowen’s proposal, though he said keeping the current station online isn’t an option.

“We looked at it at the very beginning,” he said. “We’ve always felt it is impractical. It doesn’t work. The lot of land is way too small, and the building is too small.”

Casper also raised doubts about the dollar amount on the article and whether it would do the job to bring the building up to code.

Bowen said the $500,000 figure is “a guesstimate,” a dollar amount picked “to be enough to get attention.”

In the end, with a $5.7 million budget deficit facing the Bancroft Elementary School and an $18 million price tag historically associated with replacing the Town Yard, Bowen said he wants people to talk about the project.

If all the article does is stir up conversation as to why it must be replaced instead of repaired, then “it would have accomplished a great deal,” he said.

However, he still holds true to his beliefs.

“We’re talking about $18 million for a public works facility on the border between Andover and Lawrence,” he said. “Is there an alternative to any of these?”

“There is an alternative,” he said. “Keep using the old one.”

For more Andover news, follow @DustinLucaET on Twitter. For stories and inquiries, email dluca@eagletribune.com.

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