A new police station for Newton police department

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A new police station for Newton police department

Postby JC » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:41 pm

From the Eagle Tribune

NEWTON — Police Chief Lawrence Streeter couldn’t be any prouder.

For six months, Streeter and his staff have been enjoying their new station at 8 Merrimac Road — a facility nearly double the size of their old station.

On Saturday, Streeter will finally get a chance to show off his new pride and joy. An open house at the station is planned from noon to 4 p.m.

“It’s a real shining star for the community,” Streeter said. “Everything has gone fantastic — we couldn’t have asked for a nicer transition.”

The outpouring of support began at the polls in March, when residents voted, 694-279, to spend $800,000 for the new station, a second smaller building and 5 acres of land. The 10-year, interest-free bond needed 60 percent approval, but was supported by 71 percent of voters.

It marked the end of a years-long quest for a new station after earlier proposals were rejected by voters.

The department moved into the new station in March, though residents had yet to approve the request. If the purchase were rejected, the department would have leased the 2,200-square-foot building from owner Chester Bearce.

After the purchase was approved, Streeter, his staff and numerous volunteers got down to business to get the new building ready. Whether it was painting, insulating or putting in wallboard, they did whatever work they could themselves to save money for the town, he said.

“We did 90 percent of the work,” Streeter said. “We have had a lot of help and good community support.”

Streeter estimated about $70,000 in work was needed. Some of it was funded with $30,000 left over from last year’s police budget, he said.

When residents stop by Saturday, they will see a station with the space finally need to properly store records and equipment.

The old station, a former post office used by the department since 1985, had a leaky roof, moldy carpets and little space for evidence, prisoners, the public and offices.

Two studies showed the 1,200-square-foot building fell short of health and safety requirements, including air quality standards.

Selectman Raymond Thayer said the new police facility is an asset to the community.

“I love the new station,” he said. “The voters spoke, and that’s what they wanted. It took three years, but we got it.”

Streeter hopes there will be a large turnout at the open house.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity for people to tour the building and see what they invested in,” he said. “We hope to have a lot of people in here.”

The event includes a ribbon-cutting and a flag-raising, Streeter said. A 30-foot flagpole was donated by Merrimac Savings Bank.

There will also be a K-9 demonstration by the New Hampshire State Police in addition to pony rides, antique cars and free food. Rockingham County Attorney James Reams is the guest speaker.
If you dont't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
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