EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 12, 2012

Hampstead hopes to pay for new police station in just one year

HAMPSTEAD — A new police station may be funded entirely in one year if town officials get their way.

Selectmen have decided they will ask the public to pay for a new police station with one lump sum and it will likely be voted on at town meeting in March.

“This is a one and done approach,” Selectmen’s Chairman Sean Murphy said. “The thought was that if we had two articles it could split the vote. If we paid for it all at once, we take the tax hit in one year and it’s somewhat minimal in terms of raising people’s taxes.”

The project is estimated to cost $1.6 million, but the final cost won’t be known for sure until the check is written. The average taxpayer would pay between $80 and $100 in additional taxes for one year to cover the cost of the new station.

After mulling two possible options for the community to vote on, the selectmen and the Police Station Building Committee settled on one to make matters they billed as less complicated for voters.

“It was just too confusing,” said Stephen Londrigan, chairman of the Police Station Building Committee. “We needed to make a single funding vehicle and we asked the board to choose one.”

There were two options which were previously on the table. They could borrow money and pay it back over time or they could pay for it all at once.

“It’s a good option and it’s the cheapest way to go,” Londrigan said. “There aren’t any interest charges and it would contain inflation.”

Murphy said it was rare a project like this would be paid for in one year.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen something done like this that isn’t through financing,” he said. “But this isn’t a $10 million project.”

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