Police station building to be put up for sale
NEW IPSWICH — The town may soon have to come to a decision regarding its police department, as the building that the town currently uses to house its police force is expected to soon be put onto the market.
The building, located on Turnpike Road across from the town offices, includes the Police Department as well as office spaces. The town currently rents space in the building, which is owned by dentist Fred Giaimo, for a $18,000 per year, and has since the Police Department moved out of the black-mold infested Building No. 2 and into the space.
During their regular meeting Tuesday, board members received a letter from Giaimo, who also uses the space for his dental offices, informing them that he intends to place the building and an adjoining lot on the open market following this year’s assessment of the building. The building has been for sale for some time, Police Chief Tim Carpenter told the board, but has not been widely advertised or put on the open market.
The Select Board was offered the first right to purchase the building when it first went up for sale, but declined due to lack of funds or interest, said Select Board Chair George Lawrence. Giaimo was offering the town a second opportunity to buy the building before putting it on the market.
Select Board member Woody Meiszner asked Carpenter what he felt about the current facilities.
“Location, I couldn’t ask for anything better. Size, I’m busting at the seams,” replied Carpenter. He added that the building and parking lot are well maintained. The driveway is steep, but between town services and a contracted plow company that clears it in the winter, there is no issue with getting in and out even during storms, he said.
Meiszner asked if a decision had to be made immediately. The town has a yearly lease with the building owner, which is signed in May, explained Lawrence, so the department will be housed there at least until May of 2015. And should town officials decide to attempt to purchase the building, it would have to be put before voters via warrant article during March voting.
Another issue to consider, said Carpenter, is that there are other businesses currently in the building, including Giaimo’s office and the Bellows Nichols Insurance agency. The town would have the responsibility of continuing to rent those spaces, should it take the building on.
Meiszner said that the decision of whether the town would be interested in purchasing the building would rest largely on its assessed value and market price, so a decision on whether the town would request funds through a warrant article would have to wait until the Select Board knew what the price would be.
The current assessed value of the property is $467,000, for both the building and adjoining lot. Lawrence noted that the town hadn’t been interested at that price when first offered the opportunity, but added that the additional lot may be an incentive.
The board agreed to wait until there was a formal price on the table before making any firm decisions.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.