West Tisbury selectmen place police station article on warrant

The current West Tisbury police station would be replaced. — File photo by Mae Deary

At their regular meeting on September 13, West Tisbury selectmen authorized an article for a November special town meeting that asks for $80,000 to complete construction and bid documents for a new police station.

Police station building committee member Pat Mitchell said his committee wanted to get the article on the warrant of the special town meeting on November 13 to get bid documents ready for the annual town meeting in April.

Mr. Mitchell said the $80,000 was not an additional cost and was needed to complete construction documents and prepare bid documents. He said the committee wanted the money this fall to possibly start building next spring.

“We want to be ready to make bid in the spring in anticipation of the April town meeting and be ready to take advantage of the warm building season and gain significant time,” he said. “It’s not over anything we asked for before. We just need the money to do that.”

The building committee is expected to ask for funding for the new police station at the annual town meeting in April. The new police station will be built at the site of the public safety complex off State Road that houses the fire department. The estimated cost of the project is more than $2.5 million.

If approved, the police department would move from their current 1,350-square-foot headquarters with limited parking next to the Mill Pond to a new 5,634-square-foot building with ample parking on the other side of town.

Project architect John Keenan said the town can put the project out to bid prior to the final vote at the annual town meeting but cannot award a bid until voters approve the funding.

Mr. Keenan said the article asking for the $80,000 would allow the town to lock in a fixed cost and bring final figures to voters in April. If the article is approved, the project would go out to bid in February.

Town treasurer Kathy Logue said the article would push up the timetable and allow the town to borrow money for the police station at the same time it borrows money for the new library and the repaving of town roads.

“For a variety of reasons this makes fiscal sense,” Ms. Logue said.

Selectmen voted 2-1 to place the article on the warrant of the special town meeting. Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter, also a sergeant on the police force, cast the lone dissenting vote.

Mr. Manter did not explain why he voted against the motion.