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Leader Sought for Public-safety Project in Ashby

November 14, 2018

The Ashby Police Department building. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE file photo Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

ASHBY -- The town is accepting proposals for a project manager to help plan and construct a new $7 million public safety building on Main Street.

“This is a baby step,” said Town Administrator Bob Hanson. “It’s a necessity ... The building is past the point of repair.”

The request for proposals is for an owner’s project manager who will work with the town to replace the Police Department’s station at 893 Main St. that is a former modular classroom. The 1,776-square-foot building is nearly 50 years old, has a leaky roof, and doesn’t have a jail cell.

An architectural firm has already drawn up plans for a 15,000 square-foot building that would connect to the town’s fire station at 1093 Main St.

Hanson said the owner’s project manager would assist the town’s Public Safety Building Committee and work through the intricacies of plans. Once construction begins, the manager would oversee day-to-day operations, he said.

Those interested can pick up a copy of the RFP from the Town Administrator’s office.

The proposals, which will need to be submitted in two parts, are due at Town Hall before noon on Dec. 19.

Next, the committee will evaluate the applicants’ proposals and their qualifications, Hanson said. Members will rank them and later bring some of the applicants in for interviews.

It likely won’t be until February when the committee begins interviews, he said.

The town has been looking to build a new police station for more than a decade.

Residents rejected a Proposition 2 1/2 property tax override in 2009 that would have generated $265,300 for an architectural plan and site preparation for a public safety building. Then, the project was worth $3.1 million.

The state’s 2019 bond bill included $6 million for the town to construct a new station.

In August, town officials asked residents to participate in a letter-writing campaign suggested by state Sen. Anne Gobi to urge Gov. Charlie Baker and Administration and Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan to release the money.

“The letter-writing campaign has been effective,” Hanson said. “Now we’re hopeful a continuation of a full-court press will help convince the governor to put his John Hancock (signature) where we need it.”

Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz

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