Get information tonight about proposed safety complex

Get information tonight about proposed safety complex

CUMBERLAND - For everyone with questions about the proposed $12.5 million public safety complex bond, town leaders are offering a hearing tonight, Thursday, Oct. 23, in Town Hall, 45 Broad St., at 6 p.m.

Before voters on the Nov. 4 ballot will be referenda asking to spend local dollars on the single replacement for the police and rescue stations as well a separate $2.5 million bond for repairing roadways.

Cumberland's rescue headquarters is currently in the 1868 District 14 school building in Ashton, while the police station, built in 1960 and enlarged in 1989, has been described by Mayor Daniel McKee as the "Andy of Mayberry" police station, a reference to a 1960s sitcom about a rural America sheriff and his Aunt Bee.

Chief John Desmarais, who will be on hand tonight with Rescue Service Director Sean Thompson, has described the Diamond Hill Road station as "embarrassing" with structural deficiencies that are putting the 44 uniformed officers in danger.

An opinion survey in 2013 found a majority of voters supporting this bond when it was described as not increasing the tax rate.

But unknown now is how the controversy over the location might affect support.

Talk of putting it in the northeastern corner of the Monastery Grounds prompted a strong outcry, but leaders could later offer no alternate.

Mayor-elect Bill Murray has said that if approved, he'll appoint a committee to consider the options.

A second public meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall.