EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 23, 2012

Paying for a new station? Selectmen want two options

New station could face voters in 2013

HAMPSTEAD — A fifth attempt to pass a project to replace the current police station may hit the ballot next year, but it remains unclear how the project would be paid for.

Since the town missed the 60 percent majority needed to pass a $1.6 million station replacement project by 36 votes in March,

nothing has changed about the plans. The building is still the same size

and costs the same amount of money, barring increases in construction costs due to inflation, according to Police Station Building Committee Chairman Stephen Londrigan.

The committee appeared before the Board of Selectmen yesterday with two options for paying for the station: borrow the money and pay it back over time, or raise and save the money over an unknown numbers of years and pay for the building in one shot.

If the town borrows money, the station would be built sooner, but a 60 percent majority would need to say yes to the plan, Londrigan said.

With the other option, the town could establish a capital reserve fund and ask voters to raise money every year until the needed $1.6 million was collected. Only a 50 percent majority would need to support that plan, according to Londrigan.

Going with the latter option would leave the average homeowner in town paying around $415 if the entire project was paid for in one year. If paying over 11 years, the average household would chip in about $50 each year, according to Londrigan.

The station would be built once $1.6 million is set aside.

“You can kind of now pick how much you want to set aside per year versus when you want the station,” Londrigan said.

In the last decade, the town supported spending articles needing a 60 percent vote only 45 percent of the time. Articles needing 50 percent support or greater, however, were passed 70 percent of the time, Londrigan said.

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