Building Committee disbands

Building No. 2 will remain unused a while longer

NEW IPSWICH — The town no longer has any members of its Building Committee, after the Select Board accepted the resignation of the board members during its meeting Tuesday. Whether the committee will be reformed in the future remains to be seen.

On Tuesday, Select Board Chair George Lawrence read a letter from Jim Schultz, the chair of the Building Committee, in which the members of the committee resigned and dissolved the committee.

Discussions have been ongoing in the case of the town-owned Building No. 2, located behind the town offices. In the past, the building housed the police station, but it was evacuated in 2008 due to a mold infestation. The town has put money into the renovation of the building several times since then, but it remains empty.

According to the minutes of the Building Committee’s Oct. 17 meeting, Schultz said he would not propose anything short of developing a complete plan for the whole building and asked to have the entire scope of the work funded. He said the committee has lost credibility with taxpayers, as the town has approved funds twice to renovate the building and the project has still not been completed.

During the 2011 Town Meeting, voters approved $70,000 to renovate the building in a 748-435 vote. Prior to that, $80,000 had been approved to update the heating and air conditioning in the building.

“Short of having a 100 percent solution for a police department headquarters, we should not ask the voters for any more funds,” Schultz suggested, according to the minutes.

Committee members George Slyman and Ron Stanley both stated they no longer had an interest in the project and agreed with a proposal by Schultz to dissolve the committee. The committee agreed to send a letter to the Select Board stating its intent to end the committee, especially since the town had not yet promoted Tim Carpenter to the position of police chief at the time. The committee didn’t anticipate being able to move forward with plans for Building No. 2 until the town officially hired a replacement for former Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain.

Lawrence pointed out, however, that Building No. 2 wasn’t the only town building the committee should be involved with and said he felt the committee should be reformed at some point.

Selectman Ben Cargill said he’d like to wait to reform the committee until Police Chief Tim Carpenter is more settled into the position and has taken care of the staffing shortages at the New Ipswich Police Department before adding anything more to his plate.

Cargill thanked the members of the committee for their service. “I’d like to thank all of the committee on the work they’ve done on all town buildings, not just Building No. 2,” he said.

The Select Board will meet next on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the town offices.

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