$1.2 million police station vote in Gilford's future

GILFORD — Selectmen approved a 2014 Capital Improvement Program plan Wednesday night that includes $1.213 million for the renovation and addition to the town police station.

The proposed addition, said selectman Chair Kevin Hayes yesterday, is very much like the 2009 proposed renovation and addition that garnered a majority of votes at annual town meeting but didn't get the 60-percent majority needed to pass.

The key difference between the two is newest proposal eliminates the the geothermal heating system that was included in 2009.

"The need is more than it was a few years ago," Hayes said.

Hayes the the $1.213 million budget has been updated for pricing and materials costs by the Amoskeag Architectural Group of Manchester the firm that designed the project.

"We think the number is spot-on," Hayes said.

The CIP plan shows the police station debt would cost the town $96,000 beginning in 2015 and would gradually taper off from then. The proposed police department plan has also been coordinated with the on-going Town Hall upgrade.

The addition and renovation proposal calls for a two-story addition to the backside of the building with the sally port (secure entrance for vehicles) on the ground level.

The 2009 proposal called for about 11,800-square-feet of additional space and a multipurpose room that could be used for community events when it is not being used by the police for training or other law-enforcement uses.

Perhaps most importantly, the expansion would add space for evidence and equipment storage and would bring the department up to national police standards. It would also provide more safety for police personnel, detainees, and the general public.

The Capital Improvement Program Committee consists of Chair Larry Routhier, Giselle Lambert, Jack McDevitt, Selectman John O'Brien, Planning Board member Wayne Hall and Gilford School Board member Paul Blandford.

Other items recommended by the 2014 CIP Committee are a heavy-duty dump truck with a plow for $179,000, a light-duty dump truck with a plow for $97,000. The Highway Department also requested a $60,000 weather cover for the sand pile, however selectmen and Public Service Director Sheldon Morgan and are still researching it and selectmen have made no recommendation to date.

The 2014 CIP report also calls for $220,000 for an ambulance, $50,000 for station improvements, $50,000 for refurbishing Engine 2, and $50,000 in equipment upgrades, all of which have been recommended by the selectmen.

The CIP Committee recommended $165,000 for resurfacing the parking lots and walkways at all schools, $105,000 for high school auditorium seating and $200,000 for technology upgrades for the administration.

Hayes said yesterday that the selectmen's recommended CIP plan will be presented to the Budget Committee on October 3.