BELMONT — Selectmen say they are receptive to turning over use of the former Winnisquam Fire Station to a neighboring business.
On Tuesday the board indicated it would support leasing the building on Sunset Drive to Winnisquam Marine. Town Administrator K. Jeanne Beaudin said that Winnisquam Marine owner Ed Crawford has expressed interest in securing the building for possible use as boat storage and other purposes. Beaudin said Crawford plans to view the property next month. The former fire station is located across Sunset Drive from the marina, which is situated at the corner of Sunset and Rte 3 (Laconia Rd.).
The volunteer Winnisquam Fire Company was disbanded in 2006 and 2007 and the volunteer fire company turned the facility over to the town of Belmont. Most recently the Belmont Parks and Recreation Department has been using the building for its programs. Beaudin said the Parks and Recreation Department will soon vacate the old fire station and will be moving to the second floor of the Belmont Mill in the second week of November.
Selectmen said they were willing to lease the building to Winnisquam Marine in the short term provided the business agrees to pay all insurance and maintenance on the property in addition to paying rent and the cost of utilities. Beaudin said she would explore what other storage building owners and charging for rent before recommending what to charge the marina to rent the building.
Winnisquam Marine has said it is interested in buying the building. Any sale, however, would have to be approved by the voters at Town Meeting, selectmen noted.
NOTES: Selectmen reviewed the proposed 2014 budgets for several town departments. The largest budget the examined was for Public Works, which is proposing to spend $1,014,354.64. Other budgets which were reviewed included the Town Clerk's Office, the Finance Office, the library ($31,433), sold waste ($544,539), and patriotic purposes ($20,229). The selectmen expect to conclude their review of town department budgets at their next meeting set for Oct. 21.
Library Trustees told selectmen that Rebecca Albert has been hired as the new library director.
Selectmen approved spending $31,300 for an engineering study for the first phase of a multiphase-reconstruction of Ladd Hill Road.