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Construction of Dracut Fire Station to Begin in Spring

November 11, 2018

DRACUT -- Construction on the town’s new Collinsville fire station will begin in the spring now that Town Meeting has approved an article that funded an additional $1 million dollars for the long-awaited project.

Town Manager Jim Duggan last Monday told a crowd of residents in the Lester G. Richardson Center for the Performing Arts at Dracut High School that the payment will come out of the general fund.

“I’m very thankful for the support of that article,” Duggan said late last week, adding that the article came as no surprise to anyone because he had always made it clear that the recent debt exclusion approved by residents would not cover the entire cost of the station.

Dracut voters in early September approved Question 1, which authorized a $4 million debt exclusion to help fund the station. The new station is expected to be built at 539 Nashua Road and will replace the current Station 3 at 1990 Lakeview Ave. The current station dates back to 1950 and measures about 1,600 square feet. Officials have said there’s not enough living space in the station for the firefighters and have expressed other concerns including about where firefighters keep their equipment.

In other action, Town Meeting:

- Approved Article 6, which looked to establish a revolving fund in accordance with a state law for the purpose of providing an account for the deposit of funds and expenditures associated with the Town’s flag program. Duggan said this would be for flags in honor of veterans throughout the town, adding that the veterans’ service officer will be taking the program over.

- Unanimously approved Article 8 for the transfer of $200,000 from retained earnings to the FY18 Sewer Budget for upgrades and repairs to the Merrimack Avenue Sewer Pump Station. “It’s a much-needed improvement,” Duggan said.

- Approved with a two-thirds vote Article 13, which looked to amend the zoning bylaw of the town by changing the zoning designation of several properties and/or portions thereof from Business 3 (B-3) to Industrial (I-1). This article generated a lot of commentary from multiple speakers, including Selectman Joseph DiRocco who spoke out against it, out of concern that this would allow retail marijuana establishments to potentially come into the area.

Duggan later said the town has to look at every single business investment opportunity that’s going to create jobs and increase revenue when appropriate.

“I felt that the expansion of the industrial zone was an appropriate step to help us achieve that,” he said.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.

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