Board picks Chopmist Hill Road for police station

Board picks Chopmist Hill Road for police station

Officials fear lawsuits over mold at old location

SCITUATE – The 12-member Scituate Committee to Assess the Feasibility and Plans for Building a Police Station approved locating a new $1.4 million police station next to the Scituate Senior Center on Chopmist Hill Road in a unanimous vote on Nov. 2.

Town Council President John Mahoney said the Chopmist Hill Road location is already owned by the town, the site conditions have been tested by the town engineer, the land is already served by an existing well, and the station can share a new septic system being put in place for the senior center.

Eligible Scituate voters will be asked to vote on the $1.4 million station during a Dec. 12 referendum. The vote is not expected to impact taxes, because funding for the station has already been allocated.

The Nov. 2 vote by the police station building committee came as officials warned of likely lawsuits over health and safety issues at the former police station, which was shut down due to mold and other issues this fall.

Prior to the Nov. 2 vote, Reginald Centracchio, former director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, asked the committee to consider a public safety complex rather than a standalone police station.

Centracchio referred to a 2013 report produced by the Fire Suppression and EMS Service and Advisory Committee, of which he was the chairman, which recommended the town look at creating a state-of-the-art public safety complex on Trimtown Road.

“What you’re doing right now, you’ll be doing all over again in 10 years,” Centracchio said. “A standalone police station does not cut it.”

Mahoney said he was not sure the community “can afford such a build-out.”

“Our infrastructure has crumbled ... we can’t afford it at this time,” he said. “And our police officers are in trailers right now.”

Police Chief Donald Delaere said he was glad the committee, which has met twice, prioritized officer safety and approved the standalone station.

“We’ve been talking about it for 25 years, we need to move on this,” Delaere said. “I can’t jeopardize my officers or my own health in that building anymore.”

Officers and civilian staff opted to evacuate the 100-year-old police station at 116 Main St. back in September after a series of environmental tests yielded alarming results.

The station was found to have a chronic high humidity issue, very high levels of mold, a broken radon mitigation system, structural inefficiencies, and high levels of lead.

“We can’t wait any longer,” Delaere said.

Blueprints for the new police station were created by Edward Rowse Architects and depict a 7,067-square-foot structure similar to the Hopkinton Police Station, which currently houses 15 officers.

Chief Delaere and Lt. Todd Rich said the new station would allow for future department growth and bring Scituate a step closer to meeting Rhode Island Police Accreditation Commission standards.

Currently 21 of the state’s 47 police agencies have received accreditation and Delaere said there’s financial incentive to that as well.

The Rhode Island Interlocal Trust will be increasing deductibles for departments lacking accreditation, Rich said, adding that a $1,000 deductible could increase to upwards of $25,000.

“It’s not ideal,” he said.

Delaere said building a new police station and securing accreditation quickly would be wise in the face of potential litigation relating to health and safety issues at the old police station.

“The lawsuits are going to fly,” Delaere said. “The liability is endless.”

Delaere told The Valley Breeze & Observer that officers are concerned about developing health complications and four to five retired officers have requested copies of all environmental tests completed of the station.

“It’s a lot of talking, but we’re concerned,” Delaere said.

Comments

The citizens of Scituate are about to be swindled by the majority council, the independent men. Attempting to build a police station without adequate funding and without a BOND will risk the financial stability of the town. By telling the citizens of possible lawsuits by police officers that may file suit against the town When there are none is a hoax. The real issue is to PROTECT the taxpayer funds from being squandered. This majority council has bargained in bad faith every step of the way! Please vote no DEC 12th.

SAVE THE TOWN OF SCITUATE FROM
BEING RIPPED OFF!

Comments like protect taxpayers and citizens are being swindled, are very interesting when the claims come from those that hid the truth of a letter stating CRITICAL not once but twice from the citizens/taxpayers of Scituate. The clean up of the former councils and department heads neglect has come to rest on our present Town Council and the citizens of our Town. Facts are facts and they are available for every person to look at and realize what really has taken place in the ten years at the very least. Fact - Insurance deductible increase alone for not having the required Accreditation status will be a huge financial burden, not to mention costs of renting trailers, and so on and so on. Please support the amazing Officers, Civilian staff, dispatchers and Police Administration an vote yes on 12/12

Only in RI would you see a hair-brain -scheme like this actually moving forward.
These type's of projects have many federal mandates that must be incorporated into them. Proceeding with out having procurement of detailed cost estimates is reckless to a point of negligence. The due diligence has been left out. This project needs to be disapproved and sent back to committee for further investigation. Secure this project with a bond to protect the Town of Scituate.

Chief Delaire
Your statement " the lawsuits are going to fly" and "the liability is endless". Are these comments made to incite fear and panic through out our community? It seems like these remarks are purposely presented to make the need for a new police station more urgent . Chief Delaire there is some thought from the citizenry that you are bought and paid for by the Town Council President Such a shame for a man with such potential!
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