As the Bourne Wastewater Advisory Committee considers Queen Sewell Park for underground dispersal of the town’s wastewater, another use of the land off the bypass road in Buzzards Bay has come up. It could be the next home of the Bourne police station.
During last week’s Capital Outlay Committee meeting, Bourne Police Chief Dennis R. Woodside told capital outlay members that he recently walked the parcel of land at Queen Sewell Park with Bourne wastewater coordinator Wesley J. Ewell, and Mr. Ewell said the site could serve both uses.
“He said they only need a third of the land that we’re talking about, and the third of the land that they’re talking about, it could be a parking lot,” the chief said, adding that the remainder of the parcel would be big enough for the new station.
The Wastewater Advisory Committee announced last week that recent hydrogeologic tests revealed Queen Sewell Park as the ideal site for its proposed subsurface wastewater disposal project.
Chief Woodside told the committee that the first step in getting the new police station project underway is to win the approval of the Bourne Board of Selectmen. He said that he has spoken to most of the board members and the consensus from them is that they want to build a police station and they want to build it now.
A new home for the Bourne Police Department has been under consideration by the town for a number of years, most recently in 2011. Potential sites included a parcel of land just off MacArthur Boulevard, backing up to Bourne High School and Bourne Middle School. Land behind the Jonathan Bourne Public Library was also considered.
Chief Woodside has criticized the MacArthur Boulevard site, saying the road is too busy and its one way traffic pattern provides limited access for cruisers leaving as well as residents coming to the station. The chief had been in favor of the athletic field behind the library, however, residents preferred to see the town keep the field available for family outings, Pop Warner football and other youth sports.
Members of the capital outlay committee, along with town administrator Thomas M. Guerino, agreed that with the new DPW building under construction, the next major project for the town would be a new police headquarters.
“We need to do a police station next and we need to do a police station as quickly as possible,” Mr. Guerino said.
He estimated the potential cost of constructing a new police facility at $12 million to $14 million dollars.
Mr. Guerino suggested that the station could remain in its current location and the town fund any repairs and upgrades to the building. The chief firmly disagreed with Mr. Guerino’s suggestion.
“Absolutely no way that should be accommodated or considered. It’s a waste of money, a waste of time,” the chief said.
The chief told the committee that his preference would be to relocate the police station to the armory on the bypass. He said that it is in a good location, outside the current flood zone, which is one of the problems with the current police station. However, that space is unlikely because Massachusetts Maritime Academy has first options on that property, he said.
The chief acknowledged that even with approval of the board of selectmen, the project would still have to pass muster with the town’s residents. He noted that other projects the town is looking to invest in include relocating the Bourne Fire Department headquarters from the Buzzards Bay station to the one in Sagamore Beach, replacing the James F. Peebles Elementary School and building a new wastewater treatment plant; all on top of paying for the five-year-old Bournedale Elementary School and the new Department of Public Works facility currently under construction across from Bournedale Elementary.
“We still have to sell this to the public,” the chief said.
The chief said that he will be on the agenda for the next selectmen’s meeting on January 28, and he plans to ask for a directive from the board at that time. Members of the Capital Outlay Committee agreed to attend the board of selectmen’s meeting on February 4 to discuss moving forward with a new police station with board members.